Environmental group endorses Va. Beach light rail extension referendum

WAVY News 10

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Sierra Club Chesapeake Bay Group says it is endorsing a ballot referendum to extend light rail to Virginia Beach.

The group says it believes extending the Tide will reduce carbon emissions and lessen the effects of climate change, global warming and sea level rise. They also say extending light rail will improve the overall transportation network in Hampton Roads.

Signs posted in Virginia Beach promote light rail extension

Sierra Club says the extension will encourage changes in how residents in Virginia Beach and Norfolk live and recreate.

A referendum to extend light rail has been a subject of widespread debate in Hampton Roads for some time.

Estimates from Hampton Roads Transit calculated the cost of extending light rail at $243 million.

The question of light rail expansion was added to the November ballot following a May ruling to approve an anti-light rail petition from a group led by Virginia Beach treasurer John Atkinson.

Council voted in April on a measure that helped secure state funding for the project, and meant that HRT would purchase light rail cars.

Residents will vote on the light rail referendum on Nov. 8.