Hampton council has ride-along with HRT

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — For the first time ever, a bus was the location of a Hampton City Council meeting.

Wednesday, Hampton Roads Transit discussed proposed changes to routes while on the move — literally. It was an opportunity for city leaders to see and experience the same things as everyday citizens.

The ride began at 10 a.m. at City Hall. The narrated trip took the group through several different bus routes, making stops along the way.

“We think it’s important to get out into the community to touch it, feel it, see it,” Hampton Councilman Will Moffett said.

He suggested the ride-along.

“Some decisions you just simply cannot make from a dais, you have to get out into the community and understand it. This gives us a very different perspective,” he said.

There are 14 different bus routes in the City of Hampton. Both HRT and the city are working on ways to increase the number of people choosing to ride.

“While we work with city staff, it’s important that the city leaders understand those issues personally. I think that’s’ going to help us get things done quicker,” HRT President and CEO William Harrell said.

Harrell said Wednesday’s presentation included discussions on possibly changing routes, adding more of them and increasing the frequency of stops. Benefits that can extend beyond public transportation.

“Moving people more effectively through different modes is a way to improve the community and to enhance economic development. Public transportation is important for everyone whether you specifically use it or not. You benefit from it,” Harrell said.

There were no decisions made Wednesday.

While the ride-along covered existing routes, a Peninsula corridor study about some major changes is underway.

HRT holds public meetings about bus rapid transit for the Peninsula

There are two more meetings on the HRT Rapid transit bus service from Hampton to Newport News.

Here are details on the meeting from a news release:

For over a year, Hampton Roads Transit has been working with the cities of Hampton and Newport News to identify high capacity transit options on the peninsula to address future transportation needs. This week, HRT is hosting three meetings for citizens to review the latest information on this Peninsula Corridor Study including the three corridors recommended for further study and investment and the effort to develop Bus Rapid Transit as an alternate mode of high capacity transportation for residents of the Peninsula.”