NORFOLK, VA – Today, Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), Williamsburg Area Transit Authority, and Suffolk Transit hosted the State of Transit: Transit Means Business summit. Approximately 200 business professionals and community members attended this inaugural event at Hub757 in Suffolk. Maurice Jones, Founder & CEO, MJ Connects, provided the keynote address.
Distinguished guests included Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03); Mayor Shannon Glover, Portsmouth; Mayor Douglas G. “Doug Pons, Williamsburg; along with many other elected and appointed officials.
Other speakers included William Harrell, President and CEO at Hampton Roads Transit; Matt Scalia, Executive Director, Williamsburg Area Transit; Maria Ptakowski, Transit Manager, City of Suffolk; Bryan Stephens, President & CEO, Hampton Roads Chamber; Tom Cosgrove, Chair, Virginia Peninsula Chamber; Terry Banez, CEO, Greater Williamsburg Chamber.
“The state of transit is robust. We are expanding our reach, providing access to more jobs and opportunities to the people of Hampton Roads.”
– William Harrell, President and CEO at Hampton Roads Transit
In addition to the keynote address, participants heard two panel discussions on the state of public transportation and its role in keeping Hampton Roads competitive when it comes to economic development. Those discussions were led by moderators Emily Hasty Reynolds, Vice President at Access Point Public Affairs, and Bob Crum, Executive Director at Hampton Roads Planning District Commission/Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization.
“An effective regional transit system is key to the quality of life and economic vitality of our region, and today’s State of Transit event showcased the various community stakeholders coming together to build the future of transit,” said Bob Crum, Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.
Together, HRT, WATA and Suffolk Transit want to emphasize that public transportation plays a pivotal role in moving Hampton Roads’ economy forward, as employees rely on it to get to work, and customers rely on it to patronize businesses.