HAMPTON – Hampton Roads Transit is seeing steady growth on two key bus routes serving the Peninsula.
Rt. 112, which services Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, has seen a 33% increase in ridership since October 2022. Rt. 114, which services Mercury Boulevard in Hampton, has seen a 16% increase in ridership since May 2023.
This growth has been driven by the launch of more frequent service as part of the 757 Express program. 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 routes to be added to this network. HRT plans to introduce Rt. 20 – Virginia Beach Boulevard to this network in November, and additional routes as the agency hires more bus operators.
“We’ve always known that increased frequency is the true driver of ridership growth,” said William Harrell, President, and CEO of HRT. “It makes transit a more attractive and convenient option for getting to and from work, school, entertainment and medical appointments, and we’re seeing more customers are willing to give it a try.”
Overall, both routes are demonstrating solid post-pandemic ridership growth. Farebox data shows that 40,740 customers boarded Rt. 112 in August 2023, compared to 25,225 in August 2021, representing a 62% increase. In addition, 25,434 customers boarded Rt. 114 in August 2023, compared to 16,931 in August 2021, representing a 50% increase.
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 200 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.
For more information on the 757 Express and other transit services, visit gohrt.com.