Norfolk Westside Transit Study
The Norfolk Westside Transit Study is a joint effort between HRT and the City of Norfolk. The Study, initiated in April 2017, is funded by a federal grant and is scheduled to be completed in 12 months. It will explore a potential connection from the existing Tide light rail system to Naval Station Norfolk (NSN), along the western side of Norfolk.
Addressing mobility concerns to NSN, the largest naval base in the world, and the region’s largest employment center, is of vital regional interest. Of the roughly 60,000 to 70,000 people working at NSN and nearby facilities, over 30 percent of them live in Norfolk.
HRT and the City of Norfolk started the process of evaluating potential extensions of high-capacity transit to Naval Station Norfolk as part of the Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study (NSNTES)[244p, 44MB PDF]. Completed in 2015, NSNTES identified an East and West corridor option, each with a different purpose and need. After reviewing the results, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requested that HRT identify a reasonable alternative in the West corridor before beginning the environmental review process.
While NSN is a critical destination, the transit extension will connect downtown to other points within the City. Possible connection points may include, Old Dominion University, Ghent and other residential, retail and commercial areas.
Ultimately, an extension from The Tide to NSN should provide a reasonable transportation alternative to driving a car in heavy traffic and congestion. A high-capacity transit connection — such as light rail, streetcar, or bus rapid transit — between The Tide and NSN should make travel time more reliable, and provide a reasonable transportation alternative to driving alone.
The Norfolk Westside Transit Study takes place in concurrence with other ongoing HRT studies, including the Transit Development Plan, the Capital Investment Plan, and the Peninsula Corridor Study.