NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Is a mass transit system like light rail coming to the Peninsula? Hampton Roads Transit said they started planning one earlier this year.
HRT wants a system that connects the two major cities: Hampton and Newport News. But what would it look like?
Car after car flies down the main connector for the Peninsula: I-64. At this point, the highway is the most popular version of mass transportation. That is a fact Hampton Roads Transit’s Chief Planner Ray Amoruso wants to change.
“We are really excited to take a look at high capacity transit for the cities of Newport News and Hampton,” he said.
Since April, HRT has worked with the cities and their citizens to come up with a plan.
“The Peninsula is linear in form and fashion,” Amoruso explained. “So, a lot of the alignments run north and south, but there is also an opportunity to connect east and west for the City of Hampton.”
Amoruso said HRT will seek ideas on the route and what vehicle to use from the public and cities.
“We are being pretty aggressive to suggest what could happen in Newport News,” Jim Bourey, the City Manager of Newport News said.
Bourey has suggested the vehicles be run on Rapid Transit Buses: buses double the size of an average city bus. As far as a route, Bourey would use the right of ways next to the CSX railways.
“The advantage of having separate right of ways is that you could get significant speeds. We also would want to not have any crossings or as little as possible,” he explained.
Amoruso said Newport News’ plan is just one of many suggestions, but he believes the project is still down the road.
“If we follow the normal path for what these projects of what these projects are, usually in the area of 6 to 10 years.”
As the study for a transit plans moves forward, HRT wants your input. They will hold public meetings on the Peninsula through October.