Scott, Luria talk bipartisan infrastructure bill’s impact on Hampton Roads’ public transportation

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott (D-3rd District) and Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-2nd) met with Hampton Roads Transit officials on Friday to discuss how the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill will help the region’s public transportation in the future.

Scott, Luria and their five Democratic colleagues in the House from Virginia voted for the $1 trillion bill, which will help rebuild the country’s roads, railways and bridges, as well other initiatives such as expanding access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet.

None of Virginia’s Republican representatives voted in favor of the bill, although 13 Republicans did cross party lines in the House, with a vote of 228-206.

Hampton Roads Transit runs several all-electric buses already, and the infrastructure bill includes funding for more electric buses.

HRT took the lawmakers on a ride in one of their six electric busses while they told them of plans to expand and improve services in Hampton Roads.

Scott told WAVY he was especially interested to hear how HRT is working with Dominion Energy on a project that may allow some busses to be powered with wind energy.

“That’s one of the goals of the transportation bill to significantly, positively impact the climate and we’re looking forward to those investments,” he said.

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That wind charging would be done at the new facility planned to replace the old one on Parks Avenue in Virginia Beach.

HRT is also working on projects to extend the light rail to Military Circle, build out a rapid transit line on the Peninsula along Jefferson Ave and Mercury Boulevard, as well as a shuttle inside Naval Station Norfolk to help people connect to other pubic transit.

Luria said she and Scott have Hampton Roads’ back.

“We will work in every way possible to work with federal agencies to help bring that to HRT,” she said.

HRT President William Harrell said he is hopeful the infrastructure bill will transform transit as we know it.

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