NEWPORT NEWS – Today, Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott visited the Newport News Transit Center and rode the 757 Express along Route 112 from Downtown Newport News to Patrick Henry Mall.
Scott was joined by Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones, Newport News City Councilman John R. Eley III, state Senator Mamie Locke, state Delegate Marcia Price, along with Hampton Roads Transit officials and other dignitaries.
“I had a productive visit to Hampton Roads Transit today and got a chance to experience its new 757 Express bus service. This enhanced service has already started boosting ridership and is helping people stay connected throughout Hampton Roads.”
-Rep. Bobby Scott
Rt. 112, which services Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, has seen a 22% increase in ridership since October when it began running 15-minute service during peak hours. Rt. 114, which services Mercury Boulevard in Hampton, has seen a 4% increase in ridership since it introduced more frequent service in May.
The 757 Express program is envisioned as a network of 13 bus routes connecting the highest densities of people and jobs in the region. Buses come every 15 minutes during the weekday peak hours of 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Routes 112 and 114 were the first two to be added to this network. HRT plans to introduce additional routes as the agency hires more bus operators.
“We know that expansion of public transportation provides a number of economic and health benefits to communities and that was one of the main goals of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I am pleased to see our communities benefitting from HRT’s efforts and these continued investments in public transit,” said Scott.
“We want to thank Congressman Scott and our esteemed elected officials for their support of transit and the 757 Express,” said William Harrell, HRT President and CEO. “Increased frequency is a significant driver of ridership growth. It makes transit a more attractive and convenient option for getting around, and we’re seeing more customers willing to give it a try.”
Overall, both routes have demonstrated solid post-pandemic ridership growth. Farebox data shows that 37,553 customers boarded Rt. 112 in June 2023, compared to 22,897 two years prior in July 2021, representing a 37% increase. In addition, Rt. 114 saw ridership up from 14,361 to 22,957, a 27% increase, during the same time period.
In addition to more frequent service, the 757 Express also includes capital improvements. HRT has installed a bus shelter, bench or a combination of the two at over 165 of the planned 620 bus stops across the region. The program also includes technology enhancements, such as Real Time Bus information, which allows customers to track the location and arrival times of their bus using the stop number and a smart phone.
HRT’s mission is to connect Hampton Roads with transportation solutions that are reliable, safe, efficient and sustainable. For more information on transit services, visit gohrt.com