NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads Transit will temporarily scale down services to help with staffing issues due to the pandemic.
HRT says the move beginning Sunday, May 9 will help make service more reliable in the meantime. The change is expected to last until at least July 1.
Bus frequencies will range from 30 to 60 minutes, with Tide light rail running on a 15-minute frequency, Monday through Saturday until 9:30 p.m. After 9:30 p.m., the Tide will run on 30-minute intervals. HRT says major employment centers throughout the region will continue to be served.
There won’t be a change to Sunday schedules for buses or light rail, and no change to any schedules on the Elizabeth River Ferry between Portsmouth and Norfolk.
The full list of schedule changes is posted at this link.
“Providing reliable service to our customers is our objective,” said William E. Harrell, President and CEO of HRT. “The impacts of the pandemic have resulted in a shortage of personnel. This service adjustment will provide more reliable service that our riders can count on.”
HRT says it has a current shortage of 59 bus drivers as of April 23, and is averaging about 100 absences per day related to the pandemic. Normal bus operations require about 479 operators.
102 HRT employees have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, HRT says, and they’ve conducted free weekly testing for employees. More than 1,600 tests have been completed. About 33 percent of HRT employees have been vaccinated so far.
HRT says it has hiring incentives that include signing bonuses of up to $4,000, paid training and health benefits, with eligibility for a pension.
For more information, visit HRT’s website.