HRT develops new emergency snow routes

Posted at 3:56 PM, Oct 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-24 15:56:48-04

As winter approaches, Hampton Roads Transit has developed new emergency snow routes that will be used if Hampton Roads receives a snowfall over six inches and forces a severe reduction in service.

The routes are a first for HRT and were developed after the company received assurances from the public works departments of each city that the snow route street would be given priority by local snow plow crews.

The snow plan addresses bus routes specifically and anticipates one-hour headways between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. during a snow emergency.

“A snow route may seem unusual for a Southern city, but experience shows that even here winter storms can deliver a punch,” said William Harrell, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Transit. “This plan will provide a guidepost for our operations department to meet the needs of customers when the weather is not cooperating.”

There are eight snow routes designated on the South Side of Hampton Roads: Red (Virginia Beach), Gold (Virginia Beach – Norfolk), Purple (Virginia Beach), Blue (Norfolk – Chesapeake), Green (Chesapeake – Norfolk), Orange (Chesapeake – Norfolk), Pink (Chesapeake – Portsmouth) and Silver (Portsmouth).

And there are three Peninsula snow routes, designated Brown (Newport News), Teal (Hampton – Newport News) and Burgundy MAX (Hampton – Newport News – Norfolk).

New snow route signs are being fabricated and designated bus stops will be adorned with a snowflake on the sign pole bearing the color of the route. New system and snow route maps also are in production.

The purpose of the plan is to connect the six cities with limited bus service during snow emergencies and provide guidance to transit operators and customers during these events and help customers navigate the region using limited routes. The routes are designed to connect to light rail and ferry services.

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