30,000 people rode the Tide opening day

Ridership was higher than projected

Updated: Sunday, 21 Aug 2011, 7:15 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 20 Aug 2011, 4:08 PM EDT

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Officials from Hampton Roads Transit say more than 30,000 people took a took a ride on The Tide on the inaugural day for Virginia’s first light railline.

The launch of the Tide was so successful that HRT officials have decided to extend the free fare period through Sunday, August 28. Paying customers will begin on Monday, August 29.

“What a terrific start to light rail in Virginia,” said President and CEO Philip Shucet in a press release from HRT.

“I could not be prouder of the men and women who worked so hard and for so long to bring this project to completion. I know the entire region appreciates the wonderful effort that brought light rail to Norfolk,” he said.

The system will cost the city between $6 million and $9 million annually for the first five years of operation, but with $1.50 ticket price to ride the line, HRT President and CEO Philip A. Shucet says the jam packed trains on Friday show that citizens are ready to ‘Ride The Tide.’