Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study

Hampton Roads Transit and the City of Norfolk are planning for a possible high-capacity transit extension to Naval Station Norfolk. While a final decision is years in the future, the planning process will define potential routes and transit modes that could link The Tide light rail with the base.

NSNTES – Final Report

An initial corridor study completed in May 2015 contained several main themes:

  • The transit extension should connect many points within the City of Norfolk, not just the Naval Station.
  • The transit extension should provide a reasonable transportation alternative to driving a car in heavy traffic and congestion.
  • A fixed guideway connection (such as light rail) between The Tide and the base should make travel time more reliable.
  • An extension should provide parking for transit riders and connect to other transit modes.
  • Planning for an extension should contemplate future system expansions.
  • Future studies must consider specific environmental impacts, right-of-way constraints, economic development, neighborhood revitalization opportunities, and long-term resiliency, meaning it should account for rising seas and increased local flooding in Norfolk.

A corridor study needs to have a “Purpose and Need,” essentially why is the study being conducted and what problems are being addressed in it. Through a series of public workshops, this study produced two of them.

  • A corridor primarily along the Eastern side of Norfolk
    • Corridor generally defined by Military Hwy and Little Creek Blvd.
  • A corridor primarily along the Western side of Norfolk
    • Corridor undefined connecting downtown Norfolk through the Ghent area to ODU and possibly the Naval Station

new-nsntes2 (2)new-nsntes (2)

Why was the study started?

Naval Station Norfolk the largest naval base in the world and is the region’s largest employment center.

The efficient movement of personnel to and from the base is critical for regional military readiness. Most days, as many as 60,000 to 70,000 people come to work at NSN, and most get there by driving.

Automobile travel regularly exceeds the capacity of the surrounding streets and highways, including Hampton Boulevard, Terminal Boulevard, W. Little Creek Road, I-64, and I-564. Delay on these roadways is expected to worsen over time.

An efficient, high-capacity transit connection to Naval Station Norfolk would provide an alternative to driving in congested traffic to access NSN.

Where are the commuters to the base coming from?

  • Over 20 percent from Virginia Beach
  • Nearly 20 percent from Norfolk
  • Portsmouth, Hampton and Newport News, each contribute about 5 percent
  • One quarter of NSN’s employees live outside Hampton Roads

NSNTES Open City Hall

It’s not just the Navy base

The NSNTES is also examining the transportation needs of other key destinations in Norfolk, including Old Dominion University (ODU), Ghent-area commercial and retail on Colley Avenue and 21st Street, Norfolk International Airport, the Lake Wright Business Park, the Military Highway commercial and retail corridor, and other adjacent local communities.

Contact our study managers

Julie Timm
Transit Development Officer
Hampton Roads Transit
509 E. 18th St.
Norfolk, VA 23504
757-222-6000 ex. 6699
Jeff  Raliski
Long Range Planning Manager
City of Norfolk
Department of Planning
810 Union St., Room 508
Norfolk, VA  23510