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May 18, 2016 -- The public is invited to give input this week on the potential for expanded public transit options on the Peninsula. A study is considering high capacity transit, which could include such things as light rail, trolley or bus rapid transit.
The first meeting was in Newport News last week. A second meeting will be held in Hampton at 6 p.m. today at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Dr. This location is served by local bus routes 114 and 118.A third meeting will be held Thursday in Newport News from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at the Denbigh Early Childhood Center, 15638 Warwick Blvd.
The meetings will give the public an opportunity to help identify a purpose and need for the project and what activity centers in the two cities they think should be connected, such as the Newport News shipyard or the Coliseum Central Business District.
Corridor Planning will progress in three phases. Phase one will define what problem needs to be addressed. The second will identify a broad range of possible alternatives, such as, what possible routes the proposed system could take through the city, and what technologies should be considered. The third phase will eliminate any “fatally flawed” routes identified in phase two, such as those that require unreasonable feats of engineering or cause unacceptable damage to the environment or the community.
The results will identify reasonable alternatives for phased evaluation in more detailed future studies. The study also will consider the results of the on-going study by the Virginia Department of Transportation on a planned third crossing of Hampton Roads.
The 18-month study will cost $1.4 million and is being funded by Regional Surface Transportation Program money. HRT and the cities are working with Kimley-Horn, one of the nation’s premier engineering companies.