Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk’

NJ Transit Brings Light Rail Extension Into Bergen County One Step Closer

Supporters of light rail in Bergen County, NJ received a piece of news they have been waiting for a long time. Currently NJ Transit light rail runs only in Hudson County, but recently the transit agency approved an environmental study to extend the line 10 miles north of its Tonelle Avenue stop to Englewood Hospital.

The Bergen portion of Hudson-Bergen will finally be implemented and be a barrier-free service to schools, hospitals, universities and commercial centers. - Hasbrouck Heights Mayor Rose Heck

Proposed stations include 91st Street in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, Englewood Route 4, Englewood Town Center and Englewood Hospital.

The project was altered by a few miles due to opposition from officials and residents in Tenafly, where stops had been proposed for Tenafly Town Center and Tenafly North. NJ Transit’s Board of Directors approved $3 million for Jacobs Engineering of Morristown to finish the final environmental impact statement.

RWA is excited to see light rail expansion all across the United States. We know the benefit that a light rail extension will bring to the Bergen County residents, not only with more options of transit but the economic development that follows light rail development.

To learn more about how to bring light rail to your city, contact RWA today and find out how The Tide light rail system was born in Hampton Roads. 

Hudson-Bergen light railimage credit: wallyg on flickr

HRT To Study Expansion Of The Tide To Naval Station Norfolk

Hampton Roads Transit announced recently that they have hired an engineering firm to conduct The Tide expansion to Naval Station Norfolk. The hiring of the firm to commence with the study is the first formal step toward expansion of The Tide to Naval Station Norfolk.

The engineering firm will determine which mode of transportation, light rail or bus service, would be a better solution for high capacity mass transit into the world’s largest naval base. HRT says high capacity transit to the base has been of interest to regional planners as well as commuters.

HRT also said the study will take 15 months and will be financed through federal and state funding. It will be the first year of a multi-year federal study process that is necessary if Norfolk wants to receive federal construction dollars.

RWA knows that this study will be a positive opportunity for Hampton Roads. The Tide provides affordable and efficient transportation for the City of Norfolk. To learn more about the benefits of light rail transportation, contact RWA today.

The Tide Naval Station Norfolkimage credit: norfolkdistrict on flickr

Open Letter: Light Rail Could Fix Parking Problem At The University Of Rochester

Light rail is the solution to a parking problem plaguing the University of Rochester, at least according to one writer. Kevin Yost wrote the Democrat and Chronicle to voice his solution to fix the parking issues.

 There is a solution to the parking crunch at University of Rochester and its surrounding neighborhood. Namely, a public light-rail system could run from Charlotte through downtown and the Plymouth-Exchange Neighborhood, and use the former Erie Lackawanna right-of-way and its bridge over the Genesee River, serve the university and also run out to Rochester Institute of Technology, Park Point, and end at the new urbanist Erie Station Village in Henrietta.

A branch line from the university could also serve College Town, Monroe Community College, Pittsford and Fairport, while another branch could serve South Town Plaza, The Marketplace mall and Calkins and Lehigh Station roads. There should also be other light-rail and commuter rail lines serving the city and other suburban areas as well.



Light rail has proven to be an affordable and efficient means of transportation for the residents in the City of Norfolk. To learn more about how light rail can benefit your city, contact RWA today.  

light rail transitimage credit: camknows on flickr

Light Rail Development Brings Economic Growth Along For The Ride

The opponents of light rail often reference the cost of light rail development and the impact it would have on many states’ already depleted transportation budgets. An often over looked benefit to light rail development is the economic growth that comes along with it.

According to APTA, the American Public Transportation Association, for every $1 spent in light rail development, there are $7 spent in economic development around that light rail.

Light Rail Economic Development Success Stories

  • Kenosha, WI — Over $120 million in economic development.
  • Tampa, FL — Over $600 million prior to construction and then more than $2 billion in economic development.
  • Memphis, TN — $137 million in economic development.
  • Portland, OR — $2.3 billion in economic development.
  • Charlotte, NC — $400 million in economic development.
  • Dallas, TX – $8 billion in economic development

Randy Wright & Associates was heavily involved in bringing light rail to Hampton Roads. With the implementation of The Tide light rail system in Norfolk, we have seen over $500 million in economic development in the short time that The Tide has been active.

If you would like to learn more about how light rail can benefit your city, head on over to the transportation consulting page to continue the discussion.

The Tideimage credit: VaDOT on flickr

Twin Cities LRT Helps Increase Minneapolis Metro Transit Ridership

In Minneapolis, Minnesota ridership on the Hiawatha LRT line hit an annual record of 10.5 million riders in 2012. That increase in ridership pushed Metro Transit over the 81 million rider mark for on the second time.  Ridership on the Hiawatha Line already has exceeded the pre-construction estimate for the year 2020, according to Metropolitan Council.

For only the second time in a generation, Metro Transit ridership has exceeded 81 million,” said agency General Manager Brian Lamb to local media. “This represents the third straight year of ridership growth.

RWA understands the importance of light rail transit in a city’s overall health. The Tide has seen record ridership in Norfolk and Norfolk has experienced the benefits from an affordable and efficient light rail system.

Are you interested in what light rail can do for your city? Contact RWA today and let’s talk about the success stories of light rail.

hiawatha lrtimage credit: tracktwentynine on flickr

Sen. Warner Says Fiscal Uncertainty Could Have Significant Impacts To The Hampton Roads Economy

In a statement issued by Sen. Mark Warner yesterday, he stated his concern for the impact of the fiscal uncertainty in congress and its impact on Virginia. Sen. Warner even went as far as to single out how Hampton Roads would be impacted with defense cuts and the multi-billion dollar shortfall in Navy operations and maintenance. He mentioned that already the Navy is planning to defer maintenance, including canceling ship repairs for the second half of the fiscal year.

Congress rang in the new year with a political compromise to avoid what had come to be known as the fiscal cliff. While we avoided a tax increase on most Americans, we also pushed off once again many of the tough decisions required to get our country back on a responsible fiscal path.

If Congress and the White House are unable to agree on debt reduction measures by March, America will face a triple threat: a congressional vote to raise the debt ceiling, across-the-board spending cuts required by the sequester and the expiration of the law that keeps the government funded.

The dysfunction in Washington continues to drag down our recovery. It has added to consumer and business uncertainty, and it’s keeping the economy in low gear.

The indecision also poses a significant threat to our national security. As it is, the Pentagon is operating on last year’s budget. And this white-knuckle game of chicken over the automatic sequester cuts, in particular, could require the Pentagon to ground aircraft and call ships back to port.

If Congress fails to step up, these fiscal challenges will require Pentagon budget planners to find billions of dollars in savings almost immediately, with hardly any flexibility to prioritize the cuts.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appropriately has ruled out cuts to ongoing combat operations in Afghanistan, as well as cuts in pay and benefits for our warfighters. But that means automatic sequester cuts will dig deeper into other programs. As Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently told me, “How can a shipyard deliver 92 percent of a ship?”

In Hampton Roads, automatic cuts could mean an immediate, multibillion dollar shortfall in Navy operations and maintenance. Already, plans are being made by the Navy to defer maintenance, including canceling ship repairs, for the second half of the fiscal year.

Additionally, procurement in major combat systems could be canceled – along with the significant per-unit cost savings negotiated as part of these multi-year contracts. For instance, the Pentagon negotiated nearly $4.5 billion in savings through a multi-year contract to build Virginia-class submarines – and those savings could be lost if the Navy disrupts the terms of the agreement.

The sequester was intentionally designed to be an unacceptable financial tool – an option no reasonable policymaker would ever willingly choose to use. But by continually pushing off the day of reckoning, we essentially have further amplified its potentially destructive impact: Even deeper cuts may be required over an even shorter budget period.

The sequester’s impact on military readiness could be disastrous. We will have fewer resources to keep our pilots trained or our warship crews capable of full combat operations. It will rob Army units of important training resources as they to prepare to deploy for combat.

Another area of deep concern is the potential layoffs of federal employees and private-sector contractors. Our civilian workforce is composed of hardworking individuals who deserve better. And Virginia’s defense contractors cannot be expected to make smart decisions about their businesses if they lack clear guidance on the short- and mid-range budget outlook.

That’s why I continue to push for a broad, bipartisan approach that, once and for all, strikes a responsible “grand bargain” on all of these fiscal challenges. If we can summon the political will, there is a path forward to begin reining in our nation’s deficits and debt without lurching recklessly from crisis to crisis.

Over the past two years, our bipartisan “Gang of Six” in the Senate managed to move within sight of the goal line on a grand bargain, based on the framework spelled out by National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly called the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

We produced a balanced package of spending cuts, improvements to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and broad-based tax reforms to generate additional revenue by making our tax code flatter and fairer.

Ultimately, congressional dysfunction and partisan politics short-circuited the work of the Gang of Six. But I firmly believe we can solve our deficit and debt challenges without threatening our national security, holding back our economic recovery or sacrificing investments in programs that will help our economy grow and create jobs.

As Congress prepares to enter yet another round of discussions about federal spending, the automatic cuts and raising the debt ceiling, I believe all of us should be able to agree at least on this much: The full faith and credit of the United States is not a bargaining chip.

Continuing to play games with America’s fiscal future will cause both short- and long-term damage to our national security. And neither the safety nor the financial well-being of the American people should be used as leverage by politicians angling for temporary partisan advantage.

Source: The Office of Senator Mark Warner, Commonwealth of Virginia 

Gov. McDonnell Transportation Agenda Sparks Conversation Amongst Dulles South Alliance Members

Recently, Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled his statewide transportation legislative agenda for the next five years. That same day the members of the Dulles South Alliance, in Loudoun County, met to discuss the transportation problems that plague the area and how the governor’s agenda will help or hurt their transportation issues.

Bob Chase President of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance and Assistant County Administrator for Loudoun County Charles Rudd addressed the DAS meeting and highlighted the traffic problem that is plaguing the Dulles South area and along the Route 50 corridor. Chase talked about the large growth Loudoun has seen over the last two decades and its impact on transportation.

When you talk about transportation in Loudoun, it is important to remember that 20 years ago, there were about 86,000 people in the county. Now, there is approximately 350,000 people. Twenty years from now, who know how many people will call Loudoun County home. Possibly close to 500,000. It is important to remember past, present and future when talking about transportation in the county.  -  Bob Chase, President, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance

In June of 2012, Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $5 million for preliminary engineering and design for a bi-county parkway during the fiscal 2013 – fiscal 2018 six-year improvement program. This, however, will take time to develop and implement to help alleviate the area’s transportation problem.

Randy Wright worked tirelessly to bring light rail transportation to the City of Norfolk. The Tide, in its short existence, has seen success above expectation, proving that solutions are possible with Virginia’s transportation challenges. If you would like to know more about how RWA can help with your transportation challenges, contact RWA today. 

Traffic Congestion Loudoun Countyimage credit: neoporcupine on flickr

Light Rail Referendum Passed In Virginia Beach

The Tide is one step closer to expanding to Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach voters approved a nonbinding referendum on the light-rail system. Sixty-two percent of voters approved the Virginia Beach light rail referendum in the recent election. The ballot question asked if the Virginia Beach City Council should adopt an ordinance to support expanding the Tide from Norfolk. The Tide launched in Norfolk last year, it was the first light rail system in Virginia. Expansion supporters believe expanding the light rail system to Virginia Beach would positively impact economic development in Hampton Roads and decrease traffic congestion.

On election day, Randy Wright and Associates President, W. Randy Wright spoke to citizens entering the polls about voting ‘Yes’  for the referendum to expand the Tide.

“Today is an extremely important day for the future of light rail in Hampton Roads. Virginia Beach residents have the opportunity to support completion of the study which will create the footprint for riders to one day ride from the Virginia Beach oceanfront to Old Dominion University and on to the Norfolk Naval Base,” said Randy Wright, known as the Father of Light Rail in Hampton Roads.

Mr. Wright was instrumental in the development of The Tide in Hampton Roads. Randy Wright and Associates offers urban development and transportation consultation services. Contact us to launch your next multimodal transportation project. 

Macarthur Squareimage credit: TrackTwentynine on Flickr

Norfolk to New York: Governor McDonnell Announces Amtrak Northeast Extension

Norfolk now has a direct rail connection to New York. Governor Bob McDonnell announced Amtrak Virginia’s Northeast Regional service extension to and from Norfolk will start December 12, 2012. Passengers will have the option to take a same-seat trip from Norfolk to Richmond, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City and even Boston.

Governor McDonnell stated: “The partnership between the Commonwealth and Amtrak to bring an Amtrak Virginia station to the city of Norfolk reflects my administration’s commitment to continue to make progress in improving our transportation networks for the state. By providing the citizens of Virginia an alternative way to get to and from Southside Hampton Roads, it takes cars off the highways, helping ease congestion on already highly-traveled roads. The new station provides a one-seat ride to Richmond, Washington, DC and major cities along the northeast corridor, offering an economical and environmentally-friendly way to travel.”

Amtrak’s extension to Norfolk marks the first intercity passenger rail service to the city since 1977. The Norfolk Amtrak station will be at Harbor Park in downtown Norfolk. Passengers will have easy access to connect with The Tide, Hampton Roads’ only multimodal light rail system.

As transportation consulting experts, Randy Wright and Associates can assist you with launching your next urban transit project.

Amtrakimage credit: Johnathan Hawkin on Flickr

Happy Birthday to The Tide: Virginia’s First Light Rail System Marks One Year Milestone

The Tide marked one year of service to the City of Norfolk on August 19.

Of course, what birthday would be complete without gifts and birthday cake? In celebration of The Tide’s big day, the City of Norfolk presented the gift to its riders in the form of free rides on The Tide on August 17. Community members were also invited to enjoy cake at The Tide’s most frequented stop, the MacArthur Square Station.

From initial implementation, The Tide has surpassed all expectations nearly doubling first year projections by offering an average 5,040 weekday rides. The Tide runs 7.4 miles with stops from Eastern Virginia Medical Center complex east through downtown Norfolk and adjacent to I-264 to Newtown Road. Hampton Roads Transit projects that The Tide will reach its two millionth passenger in November.

As an integral player in the launching of the first light rail system in Virginia, we couldn’t be happier with the success of The Tide.  Randy Wright and Associates is dedicated to developing dynamic partnerships with civic-minded transportation professionals.  Let’s discuss how we can maximize your next urban transit project.


Tide Opening Dayimage credit: Norfolk District on flickr

Help Us Celebrate Global Friendship with the Tidewater Builders Association Charity House

Mark your calendar for August 29th as we celebrate global friendship. We are gathering to dedicate the Tidewater Builders Association Charity House to benefit the construction of The Global Friendship House at Old Dominion University. This residential facility will offer a community to students who travel from all over the world to study here and will also promote international friendships and understanding.

Official Dedication / Flag Raising
10:30 AM, Wednesday, August 29, 2012
East Beach, Norfolk, VA

Please RSVP to Mary Prier at

Tidewater Builders Association Charity House Dedication flyer

The Father of Light Rail to Appear on WAVY-TV 10 with Andy Fox

Hampton Roads’ own Father of Light Rail will appear on the WAVY-TV news today at 5:30 PM. Tune your television to channel 10 in Hampton Roads to hear RWA President W. Randy Wright talk about such topics as:

  • The inception of the name, The Father of Light Rail.
  • The Tide ridership (2,900 per day predicted – 6,409 on Tuesday, 8/14).
  • Transit Oriented Development and the economic return for the City of Norfolk.
  • Introduction of the new Randy Wright & Associates website at


Visit RWA

2200 Colonial Avenue
Suite 25
Norfolk, VA 23517
P: (757) 466-1476
F: (757) 466-1498

directions to Randy Wright & Associates

Latest from RWA