Next Up for Bus System Redesign: Norfolk, Virginia

The Norfolk City Council will vote in February on a draft transit system redesign organized around the principle of a high frequency grid, similar to system redesigns in other cities in recent years.

1 minute read

January 6, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Norfolk, Virginia

The launch of the Tide, Virginia’s only light-rail line, in 2011 changed the transit game in Norfolk. A bus system redesign could change it again. | Kate Scott / Shutterstock

Wyatt Gordon reports that the city of Norfolk, Virginia is following in the footsteps of Richmond, Virginia by redesigning its bus system. The system redesign for Norfolk could be approved by the city council as soon as next month.

Should Norfolk’s City Council approve the new draft routes next month, by this fall residents of the “Mermaid City” could find their mobility much improved. Under the proposed new routes, 140,000 more residents (in a city of 244,000) would be within a quarter mile of a bus or train that arrives every 15 minutes for most of the day, an increase of 57 percent over today. The average person will also be able to access 31 percent more jobs than with the existing network.

The city launched the system redesign process by hiring "Amy Inman — the woman who led Richmond’s route redesign — to become the head of its first-ever Department of Transit, in charge of all transportation policy and infrastructure from sidewalks to scooter regulations." The city also hired consultant Jarrett Walker and Associates to undertake the redesign.

The draft recommended network is available online. Gordon concludes the article by considering the possibility that other Virginia cities could soon jump on the bus system redesign train.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 in The Virginia Mercury

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