HRT receives over $60 million in federal funding; services to resume Sunday


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As Hampton Roads Transit reminds the public that normal services will resume Sunday, the transportation agency also recently received over $60 million in federal funding.

Regularly scheduled HRT bus and light rail operations will resume June 14 and certain safety protocols will apply.

Seating will be set up to promote social distancing with select seats marked as off-limits.

In accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s recent requirement and the VDH, HRT will require customers ages 10 and older to wear a face-covering when “entering, exiting, traveling through, or occupying public transit centers and vehicles.”

Officials with HRT said that a scarf, bandana, or medical-type mask are all acceptable forms of face-coverings.

The HRT said that fare collection for all services will remain suspended until July 1.

Transit users are encouraged to continue boarding and exiting buses from the rear to allow those needing assistance to use the front of the bus. Customers are encouraged to use transit for essential purposes only.

Paratransit services will operate as normal.

The service on the Elizabeth River Ferry will remain on a winter schedule in response to the decline in travelers, closures of the Waterside District, and cancellation of Harbofest 2020. The Virginia Beach Wave Service is canceled for the season. 

The $61,731,853 in funds will go towards supporting COVID-19 related costs impacting operations, administrations, and preventive maintenance. The funds can be used to cover salaries, wages, benefits, maintenance, personal protective barriers, and cleaning supplies.

The federal funding was authorized by the Federal Transit Authority Urbanized Area Formula Program under the CARES ACT which is supported by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA).

“Throughout this crisis, our community’s transportation systems have been forced to deal with extraordinary challenges to meet the needs of their passengers while protecting their workers,” said the Senators. “We’re pleased to know that these federal dollars will help provide the necessary equipment and resources to protect Virginians as we continue to navigate through this crisis.”

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