Hampton Roads Transit Pilots Microtransit in Newport News and Virginia Beach, VA, 2022
5 minutes Date Launched: Jul 10, 2022 Pilot Project Timeframe: 6 months
Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) OnDemand is launching as a pilot in Newport News and Virginia Beach. In this service, customers can request shared point-to-point van rides within two separate zones using the HRT OnDemand smartphone app or by calling a hotline. Via serves as the booking and routing technology partner for this pilot. Key destinations in the Newport News zone include Christopher Newport University, Riverside Hospital, and the Patrick Henry Mall. In Virginia Beach, key locations include Virginia Wesleyan University, several bus stops, Sentara Leigh Hospital, and Kempsville Plaza Shopping Center. HRT OnDemand operates from 5 AM to 9 PM, Monday through Friday, and from 7 AM to 8 PM over the weekends. As a promotion, rides on HRT OnDemand are fare-free until July 24th. After that, rides have a standard fare of $2 per passenger, which customers can pay through the HRT OnDemand app. This fare costs the same for a single adult ride on most of HRTs’ fixed-route buses, light rails, and ferries. Students ages 13 through 17 with a Student Freedom Pass and paratransit customers can ride on HRT OnDemand at no out-of-pocket expense. HRT OnDemand offers customers wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
The cities of Newport News and Virginia Beach, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation are providing public dollars to support this pilot. Microtransit can be a practical mobility solution for people in lower-density areas where fixed-route transit is not always efficient. With HRT OnDemand, people can hopefully travel more efficiently to essential destinations in Virginia Beach and Newport News and be encouraged to connect to HRTs’ other transit services.