New initiative to transfrom transportation in Hampton Roads

Jordan Crawford | 7/7/2014, 1:04 p.m.
Hampton Roads Transit is trying to chart a new course for moving people around Hampton Roads.
William Harrell is the Hampton Roads Transit president and CEO.

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is surveying the community to help it chart a new course for moving people around Hampton Roads and to transform how public transportation is funded.

The Connect Hampton Roads initiative is the first time HRT has sought wide-ranging input from those who use public transit and those who don’t, said William Harrell, the agency’s president and CEO.

“We want everyone to chime in here,” he said.

The five-minute online survey, recorded about 2,000 responses in its first week since launching in late June, Harrell said. He’d like to see 50,000 people fill it out before it closes at the end of September.

The results will be analyzed and released for more feedback, with the goal of developing a transit and funding plan next year that can be used to lobby state lawmakers for help. HRT staff have long cited the need for a more robust and dedicated funding stream to support better and more frequent transit service.

In its beginning stages, the campaign cost about $50,000 to analyze and market the plan, and develop the survey, said Harrell.