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HRT could expand Tide light rail to Military Circle in Norfolk

HRT leaders said plans are in the works, but construction wouldn't start until 2028.

NORFOLK, Va. — There's a plan to add some extra light rail tracks in the city.

“I would say go for it,” said HRT rider Terry Young.

Hampton Roads Transit is in the beginning stages of the project, but the plan is to expand the Tide to Military Circle.

Young said, “Unfortunately, I don’t have a car so I'm looking and depending on HRT.” 

Right now, the Tide runs from Fort Norfolk near EVMS to the Virginia Beach border at Newtown Road. The extension would take the light rail north from Newtown.

“We want to give people more travel options, provide them fast, frequent, reliable service,” explained HRT's director of transit development Sam Sink. “We want to improve equity in transportation throughout the region and we want to assist in economic development and be part of that redevelopment of Military Circle.”

On Monday, HRT leaders held a public meeting for people to share their opinions about the project. 

Two others are scheduled later this week.

  • Tuesday: 1:30 to 4:30 at the Military Circle Transfer Area
  • Thursday: 8 a.m. to noon at Newtown Road Station

Transit leaders believe the expansion could increase Tide ridership by about 40%.

Sink said, “A Tide fair is only $2 each way and we want to provide that high-quality transit option that they can take. We don’t want them to have to pay money for an Uber or a Taxi. This gives them that choice.”

The plan could also include adding Norfolk's first Bus Rapid Transit system, which would travel to Naval Station Norfolk. Leaders said it's similar to the Tide.

“Real-time arrival information, level boarding platforms, and its own dedicated lane so it doesn't get stuck in traffic the same way as a bus,” Sink said.

HRT leaders say if all goes according to plan, construction would start in 2028.

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