Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Government shutdown temporarily halts Hampton Roads transit studies

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) has temporarily suspended work on two transit studies and is reviewing its operations for other potentially impacted services as a result of the shutdown by the federal government.

 

The Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study and the Origin and Destination survey have been suspended until further notice because funding for the efforts is dependent on federal support.

The Naval Station study is exploring corridor options for connecting The Tide light rail with Naval Station Norfolk. The study, which will cost $1.4 million, began in June with a series of public workshops to help people understand the purpose and need of a high-capacity transit project that may link the base to The Tide. A second set of workshops was held last month.

The Origin and Destination survey is an effort to more fully understand HRT's system-wide ridership projections, customers' origins and destinations as they use public transit, customer demographic makeup and trip purpose. The information from the study will help HRT plan better transit routes. The study will cost $286,718.

The Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study is not expected to be affected by the shutdown because of the necessity of completing the Environmental Impact Statement in a timely manner.

"The interruption of these important services is a necessary precaution until the shutdown is resolved by Congress," said William Harrell, HRT's president and CEO. "HRT must be careful not to incur obligations that are funded by federal sources if those funds are delayed."

 

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