Friday, May 13, 2011

How Do We Fix Route 1?

It's Norfolk Greek Festival Weekend, and the only bus there is Route 1. Therefore, I was on the 1 today to go and get my pastitsio for lunch. The bus was running late, and obviously wasn't going to make the Wards Corner lineup. While eating, I saw the next 1 pass...also late. That got me thinking about the 1 in more general terms. What should we do? A few things:

1. Is it as simple as having it jump earlier from the Cedar Grove Transfer Center?

2. Hampton Roads Transit's (HRT) efficiencies report puts every 15 minute service on Route 1 throughout the day on weekdays between Cedar Grove and Ocean View. What kind of impact would that have?

3. IMO, the long term solution is a streetcar along the current Route 1 alignment from downtown Norfolk to Wards Corner. That would not only relieve the 1, but help economic revitalization at Riverview and Wards Corner.

My fellow bus riders, chime in under Comments. What would you do, and why?


Max Shapiro said...

I remember when 960MAX service just started and they ran every 30 minutes. I can recall several instances where a bus was more than 15 minutes late and the driver just waited there till the next half hour mark before even leaving which screwed everything up.

So if the Number 1 is 10 minutes late then you have 2 buses leaving within 5 minutes, one probably being packed and the other empty. How many people would really understand the schedule to know they could wait 5 minutes and get on another, less crowded bus? I saw this kind of thing happen all the time at the oceanfront last year with the Atlantic Ave service.

By streetcar do you mean like a real street car with tracks and everything?

As far as what I would do to fix it, I think you're right that just having it leave Cedar Grove earlier would do the trick.

Heck, even having it leave on time would be great. When I was working in the 87th I hardly ever saw it leave when it was supposed to, even if it was on time. I think the HRT staff at Cedar Grove needs to do a better job of watching the drivers, because I'm often sitting on buses watching drivers text or talk to someone when it's past time for them to leave.

Avenging Archangel said...

Yes, Max, a real streetcar with tracks. Such fixed rail systems draw private redevelopment.

Michael said...

I would take that streetcar to OV Station

Based on where the switch-tracks are on Tide Light Rail (a spot where trains can reverse directions):

* Harbor Park Station
* Civic Plaza Station
* MacArthur Square Station
* Charlotte Street Station

Then follow existing Route 1 to Ocean View Station.

Look to San Fran MUNI for ideas:
Some of their rail stations are simply enhanced signs. Farebox on board the train at the front door

At OV, you can connect with existing 3 & 5 as well as bus to Pleasure House.

For the rest of Route 1: New route going down Independence all the way to TCC. Service every 30 minutes. At Pembroke, would split off every hour to TCC via Holland and the other trip TCC via Independence. An HRT route that runs similar in idea would be the 6 via LIBERTY vs the 6 via BERKLEY between Cedar Grove and 20th & Seaboard

Avenging Archangel said...


1. What economic revitalization would you do on that stretch between Wards Corner and OV?

2. Even an OV - TCC-VB 1/36 would be too long. There'd still be a need to split it somewhere.

Michael said...

The split is Pleasure Ho. There would be an OV Ave bus from OV Station to Amphib to Pleasure House

From there you would do a 6 via Liberty vs 6 via Berkley to allow a 36 via Holland and 36 via Independence from Pleasure Ho to Pembroke to TCC

As you know, TOD is a socialist freeloader conspiracy that wastes taxpayer dollars. I know Norfolk wants revitalization of OV (I used to live there and heard the talks). Bringing trains back to the Station is only the start.