Posts Tagged ‘The Tide’

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

Surrey British Columbia Pushing For Light Rail Transit Solution – Canada Knows The Value Of Light Rail

The Surrey Board of Trade announced a new coalition, Light Rail Links, which is joining the call for an light rail transit solution to the region’s lack of rapid transit infrastructure. Surrey business and community groups formed the group to get light rail transit on track for south of Fraser.

Surrey Mayor, Dianne Watts, has been pushing for years to bring a light rail solution connecting Surrey town centres: one between City Centre and Guildford, along 104th Avenue; one connecting City Centre to Newton, along King George Boulevard; and one connecting Surrey to Langley along the Fraser Highway. The mayor is in support of light rail transit as compared to a SkyTrain solution.

Increased traffic in Surrey as the population grows has become a very real threat to potential businesses investing in Surrey. Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman said it took her 50 minutes by car to get from South Surrey to the Board of Trade office at 104th and 144th Avenues. Light Rail Links stressed that Surrey, the fastest-growing municipality in the region, is expected to grow 50 percent to 750,000 residents by 2041. Yet it has not had any significant transit infrastructure in almost 20 years.

RWA knows the importance of light rail and the benefits it brings to metropolitan areas. Our President, Randy Wright, played an integral part of bringing The Tide to the City of Norfolk. Business investment is 7 to 1 around light rail transit, meaning for every dollar you spend on light rail, businesses will invest seven. Business investment combined with traffic congestion relief options make light rail a viable option for most cities.

To learn more about how RWA can help bring light rail to your city, contact RWA today. 

Light Rail Canadaimage credit: Canadian Pacific on flickr

Salt Lake Light Rail Transit Line Packing Thousands Of Rides Per Day

On April 15th, the Utah Transit Authority opened their light rail transit line from downtown Salt Lake to the Salt Lake International Airport. It is a six mile stretch of transit  that in its first few weeks have far exceeded expectations.

According to the UTA, about 4,800 people per day ride the line and that number does not include the passengers who are headed to the airport that were already on the Green line before the downtown stop.

The addition to the line has added to the 140-mile rail system that has been aggressively built in just over twelve years. The Green line has been a welcome addition to the residents of Utah, allowing for alternate means of transit to the airport and neighboring cities like West Valley City, Provo, and Ogden.

The Brookings Institution has recently determined that the Green line is convenient for about 65% of commuters in its service territory. That number would make it the most convenient light rail transit line in the United States.

RWA understands the benefit that light rail transit can bring to our metropolitan areas. RWA is excited for the studies of the Tide expansion into Naval Station Norfolk and Virginia Beach to begin and hopefully bring about more transit connectivity in Hampton Roads. To learn more about RWA’s role in The Tide development, contact us today. 

The Green Line Light Rail Transit Salt Lake Utahimage credit: CountyLemonade 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

Cumberland County Future Transportation Projects Centered Around Economic Development

Cumberland County’s new transportation plan, which was approved this month, will have an economic focus on the direction of future transit policies. The hope is is to improve the connection between the county and the larger markets of South Jersey.

 It sets the direction in terms of future policies. It looks at transportation as the primary economic driver for Cumberland County. – Planning Board Director, Bob Brewer

The plan noted that economic development is ultimately dependent on transportation access, with roads serving as the main conduits for commerce and commuting in the county. In one possibility of changes to come, Brewer said the plan will set a future outline for improving express bus lines between Bridgeton and Atlantic City.

RWA understands the importance of economic development and its partnership with transportation development. Light rail development has been integral in economic development in major cities across the US. According to APTA, the rule for economic development around light rail development is 7 to 1. That means for every dollar spent in light rail, seven will be invested in economic development around the light rail.

Talk with RWA today and let us help you plan your communities transportation future. Economic development is important in every community and RWA knows how to help develop the right plan.

The Tide Light Rail Economic Developmentimage credit: tracktwentynine 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

Dearborn Michigan Looking For Input On Transit Oriented Development Plan

According to an article from the Press & Guide, developing a new train station has the city planner for Dearborn Michigan taking suggestions on what should be the vision of the new train station. Elizabeth Hendley, city planner for Dearborn, is looking for input on development of the space around the new train station being built.

The concept, called “Transit Oriented Development”, allows for anyone to suggest ideas for potential land development ideas based on two plans that have been proposed. The work is funded by a MiPlace Partnership grant from the state with the help of Michigan State University, the Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The goal of transit-oriented development is to create a mixture of housing, office, retail and other commercial amenities in a walkable neighborhood — all within half a mile of quality public transportation, the report says.

RWA worked closely with the City of Norfolk to make sure the implementation of The Tide Light Rail system was done with the best interests of the City of Norfolk. Urban land development and transportation development go hand in hand and are an integral part to a city’s long term success.

Would you like to know more about transportation consulting or urban land development consulting? Contact RWA to and let us help you plan your next development project.

Dearborn Aerial Viewimage credit: contemplative imaging on flickr

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

Randy Wright & Associates President will be talking to Virginia Beach voters today in support of the light rail referendum

Father of Light Rail to Work the Polls at Arrowhead Elementary School

Randy Wright & Associates President will be talking to Virginia Beach voters today in support of the light rail referendum.

VIRGINIA BEACH VA, NOVEMBER 6, 2012: RWA President, W. Randy Wright, will be at Arrowhead Elementary School on Susquehanna Drive in Virginia Beach today from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Mr. Wright will be talking to citizens entering the polling station about the benefits of a ‘Yes’ vote for the referendum in support of extending The Tide light rail line from Norfolk into Virginia Beach.

“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.

Should the City Council adopt an ordinance approving the use of all reasonable efforts to support the financing and development of The Tide light rail into Virginia Beach?*

*The referendum allows Virginia Beach voters to provide City Council with their current level of interest in pursuing light rail as an update to the 1999 rail referendum.

Arrowhead Elementary School
5549 Susquehanna Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Randy Wright & Associates is a development, transportation, and government relations consulting firm focused on public/private finance and land planning. The firm provides a unique range of services to builders, developers, and municipalities by joining together the experience of finance options and government contacts. The consultants at RWA have experience in residential, commercial and urban development projects in Virginia and across the United States. For more information on Randy Wright & Associates, visit

Media and interview requests for W. Randy Wright and Randy Wright & Associates should be directed to JASE Group LLC at for scheduling.


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

HRT Rider Survey Says Bring The Tide to Virginia Beach

Hampton Roads Transit conducted a recent survey of The Tide riders to gain feedback of riders’ impression and usage of the light rail transit system. The survey included responses from 3000 riders.

Based upon the survey, 60 percent of riders indicated a need for an extension of The Tide light rail to Virginia Beach. Subsequently, it was also found that a high percentage of The Tide riders, 44 percent, ride by choice stating they would drive if The Tide were not available.

Other key factors identified by the survey included:

  • 45 percent of The Tide survey respondents are under 30 years old versus 34 percent on the bus system.
  • Riders using The Tide during the week are primarily going to work or home.
  • Riders using The Tide on Saturdays are likely riding for recreational purposes. They are also more likely to be first-time riders.
  • Almost one third of all riders board at Newtown Road and 61 percent of those riders are Virginia Beach residents.

Randy Wright and Associates was integrally involved in the establishment of The Tide in Hampton Roads. As the Father of Light Rail, Randy Wright is skilled in multimodal transportation development. Let’s discuss how we can assist with your next urban transit endeavor.

The Tide Ridersimage credit: norfolkdistrict on flickr

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


The Father of Light Rail to Appear on The Tony Macrini Show

Hampton Roads’ own Father of Light Rail will appear on the Tony Macrini radio show Thursday, 8/16, at 8:30 AM. Tune your radio to WNIS AM790 to hear RWA President W. Randy Wright talk about such topics as:


Featured Photo: RWA President W. Randy Wright & Mrs. Arlene Wright at The Tide Launch Event

RWA President W. Randy Wright and Mrs. Arlene Wright

RWA President W. Randy Wright, Mrs. Arlene Wright, and other dignitaries at the inauguration event of the launching of The Tide light rail system in Norfolk, VA. The event took place at the MacArthur Center station of The Tide.

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