ACTION AREA #3
EXPAND REGIONAL COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS OBJECTIVES
Needs for better transportation options extend well outside this core area that is the primary focus of the Transit Transformation Project (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach). Policy makers and stakeholders regionwide should work at local, regional, and state levels to support enhanced multi-modal connectivity for all of Hampton Roads. In addition to HRT, this includes Williamsburg Area Transit Authority and Suffolk Transit.
There is no viable alternative to regional collaboration in order to achieve collective focus and action. As the 2019 State of the Region report underscores, the challenges we face "present opportunities for us to work together to make the region an even better place to live and work."
Creating a better core regional bus system is one of these challenges - and an opportunity.
Expanded collaboration to improve regional transit services will benefit both transit users and non-users and help to deliver more value for taxpayers. Users could benefit from improved connectivity and more streamlined services. Levels of transit ridership could be increased, helping mitigate congestion and optimize the use of roadways. Key sectors (hospitality and tourism, healthcare, manufacturing and ship repair, education) require accessible transit options for their employees and customers. In addition to more riders, service providers could gain access to new technology and funding opportunities, leading to costs savings for everyone.
There may be many barriers to overcome, for example, outdated policies and regulations that hinder procurement and experimenting with new service models, organizational silos, different institutional strengths and weaknesses, and competing priorities from one city or organization to another.
It will be up to innovative policy makers and stakeholders - committed to success at a regional scale - to work through such issues and creatively harness the resources needed to get things done. As captioned below, the RAP offers a few tactical recommendations for expanding collaboration to make transit better in the region.