All aboard?

light rail vehicle

On August 19, 2011, Norfolk, VA will officially start operating it’s shiny, new light rail system. The line begins on Newtown Rd. and ends at Brambleton Ave. for a grand total of 5 miles. It doesn’t even have a stop for the Navy base- the area’s biggest employer. To my knowledge, city leaders never mentioned security. And I don’t think a stop a few blocks from the base would be security threat. The 5 mile route doesn’t do me any good. It’s great if you live near Newtown Rd. and work at EVMS.

For the past few years, motorists have been inconvenienced by rail construction. Downtown businesses have suffered and few had to close their doors because patrons couldn’t get to them.  The cost over-run is over $100 million! That is $100M over the cost citizens already had to pay!

The city could have spent a measly $10M and fixed/designed an efficient and fantastic HRT bus system.  They could have looked at San Francisco as a road map. I went to San Fran many years ago and easily got around the city because there were (1) plenty of buses running on time and (2) maps posted at the bus stops. Have you noticed that HRT does not post maps?

Had the city’s school system gotten the leftover $90M, the school system would not be laying off good teachers and staff, cutting necessary programs, AND they could have built a couple of new schools to replace dilapidated ones.

This week, a spokesperson for HRT said there will be train accidents. YIKES! But, I’m sure he’s right. I predict the first fatality will be at the baseball stadium. When hundreds of drunk baseball fans walk cross the track to get to their parked cars, it’s a recipe for disaster.

One day, I’m sure I’ll pay my $1.50 to Ride the Tide loop, just to say I did. And why not? We’ve all already paid for it.

(The photo came from www.ridethetide.com)

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