Frequently Asked Questions

About The Tide

  • Where does The Tide go?
    The Tide’s 7.4-mile route begins in the Fort Norfolk area at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. It travels through downtown Norfolk and continues along the I-264 corridor to Newtown Road
  • How is the light rail system powered?
    The Tide is powered by an Overhead Catenary System, or OCS. This means electricity flows from overhead wires, through a device called a pantograph, to the train. There is no electricity flowing through light rail tracks that would endanger pedestrians or motorists.
  • Do buses connect to The Tide?
    Yes. An enhanced feeder bus system provides strong bus connections to The Tide for broader public access. A complete list of bus routes and schedules can be found at

About the Light Rail Vehicles

  • How many vehicles are in the system?
    The Tide operates nine environmentally-friendly, state-of-the-art light rail vehicles.
  • How many seats does each vehicle have?
    Each vehicle has 68 seats. Additional space is available to accommodate standing passengers.
  • Does The Tide accommodate wheelchairs? Bicycles?
    Each vehicle can accommodate four wheelchairs and four bicycles.
  • Are the vehicles loud?
    No. Light rail vehicles are quiet, with the exception of warning signals that sound as trains approach stations and intersections.
  • Is food or drink permitted on the light rail vehicles?
    Food and drink may not be consumed on the light rail vehicles. Customers may carry food and non-alcoholic beverages on the trains, as long as they are in closed containers.

Preparing for my trip on The Tide

  • Where can I purchase tickets and get route information for the Tide?
    Tickets may be purchased from ticket vending machines at each station along the route. Tickets also may be purchased on board any HRT bus. Exact fare only on the bus, please. A number of area businesses also sell HRT fare cards. A complete listing of these locations can be found at

    Route information for The Tide and other bus routes can be found on maps posted at each station, at any HRT Customer Information Center, and here on

  • Do the ticket vending machines (TVMs) accept debit and credit cards?
    Yes. The TVMs accept cash and conduct credit and debit card transactions.

Riding the Tide

  • How fast does The Tide go?
    The Tide will always follow the posted speed limit. This means the vehicles can reach speeds of up to 55 MPH when operating along the I-264 corridor.
  • How long does it take to travel from station to station?
    Travel time between the Medical Center Station and the Newtown Road Station is approximately 25 minutes. Travel times between stations will vary.
  • Are there crossing gates at all intersections?
    No. There are no crossing gates at intersections in the downtown area. Other signs and signals will inform motorists and pedestrians when a train is approaching, however. The nine gated crossings are Ballentine Blvd., Ingleside Rd., Huntsman Dr., Corporate Blvd., Military Hwy., West Industrial, East Industrial, Kidd Blvd. and Bristol Ave.

Safety on The Tide

  • Will there be security on The Tide and/or at the stations?
    Uniformed and undercover special police officers will intermittently patrol the entire HRT transit system, including Tide vehicles and stations, during operating hours. Their duties will include monitoring and reporting security conditions and enforcing our fare policy. There are also security cameras on the interior and exterior of the vehicles.
  • Will The Tide operate during inclement weather?
    Depending on the severity of the weather, The Tide may operate limited service. Look for up-to-the-minute alerts on, or contact our Customer Information Center at 757-222-6100 for the latest information on service during severe weather.