Norfolk light rail, ferry showed strong ridership during Harborfest weekend

Tide Light Rail
Posted at 1:53 PM, Jun 16, 2022

NORFOLK, Va. - Hampton Roads Transit reported strong ridership over the Harborfest weekend, with the Elizabeth River Ferry, the Tide light rail and buses all seeing increased boardings.

According to HRT, 12,955 people climbed on board the Elizabeth River Ferry during the holiday weekend. That's 3,057 more than in 2019 — the last year when Harborfest was held and before COVID forced a temporary suspension of Harborfest.

The Tide light rail also showed improved performance, with 9,105 boardings over the three-day weekend.

HRT said bus ridership continued its steady climb out of its COVID-related doldrums — 40,276 people boarded HRT buses over the weekend. By comparison, the same period in 2019 saw 67,728 people on regional buses.

In October, HRT said it will launch an initial group of its 757 Express routes on the Peninsula, where for the first time 15-minute service frequency will be available on the Routes 101, 112, 114 and Peninsula Commuter Routes 403 and 405. The service is made possible by funding approved by the Virginia General Assembly.

The agency is also continuing to hire new bus operators and mechanics in order to make 15-minute service frequency possible.

"We are making an investment in the region's future by developing service that will meet the needs of commuters across Hampton Roads," said William Harrell, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Transit. "We encourage everyone to consider transit as an option for their commuting needs."

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