In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly directed Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) to study expanding The Tide light rail in Hampton Roads, including to the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The resulting study – called the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study
– began in May 2009. It’s the first step required for possible funding under the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts Program, a competitive federal grant program that has the potential to fund construction of the transit extension.
The study has two parts, which are being conducted concurrently:
Alternatives Analysis (AA)
The AA evaluates alternatives for the transit extension.
Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS)
The SDEIS outlines the purpose and need for the project and examines the environmental impacts of alternatives. It looks at the benefits and impacts of extending the transit line, including physical and natural, social, cultural and economic factors.
View the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study FAQ here
and view the study documents here
When it’s complete, the city will know with greater certainty what it will cost to build light rail or bus rapid transit, how many people will ride either service, and what each will cost to operate and maintain.
Possible Future Extensions
Cost of the study
The cost of the study is $7.16 million. Funding comes from the federal and state governments. No city money was spent on it.
Firm conducting the study
HRT hired consulting firm, HDR Engineering Inc
., to conduct the study. HDR is a 95-year-old global company with 7,800 employees that provides services in engineering, consulting, construction and related services.