Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study
HRT is conducting the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study (VBTES) to examine the best transit options for a former freight rail right of way in Virginia Beach. The property runs from Newtown to Birdneck roads roughly parallel to Interstate 264. The study includes options for extending high-capacity transit services east of Birdneck Road to 19th Street at the Oceanfront and for service to the Laskin Road corridor.
In January, 2014 we presented the latest information on projected capital costs for the Laskin Road segment of a possible light rail or bus rapid transit extension into Virginia Beach. These conceptual cost estimates followed our September presentation when capital cost estimates for the western portions of the alignment were presented. We also included estimates for operating and maintenance costs and the projected average daily boardings for service to Virginia Beach.
The latest information also helps you understand the potential property impacts of an extension, its overall impact on the environment, the existing traffic network, and the impacts of noise should a high-capacity alignment be constructed. Taken as a whole, these figures give the public an insight into what effect extending The Tide light rail – or bus rapid transit – would have on the resort city. Click here for information.
The study is not complete. Additional information will be made public as soon as possible. To read the latest presentation, click here.
The study will be ready for formal public review this summer. After that, the Virginia Beach City Council must then take formal action on the study and select what is called a Locally Preferred Alternative. The next steps are completing the final study and obtaining a Record of Decision, currently expected in the 2014-2016 time frame.
- Improve access, operations and reliability of the public transportation system
- Provide a cost-effective, efficient travel option that connects residential and employment areas as well as recreational venues
- Implement service that helps manage growth in vehicle miles traveled and supports the development of sustainable and livable communities
- Support Virginia Beach economic development activities consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and related land use strategies
- Support the tourism industry of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads region by providing an alternative to travel on congested roadways
- Support preservation and protection of the environment
This webpage will provide up-to-date information on the VBTES. HRT welcomes your input on the VBTES.