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8/19/2011 Light Rail
Yesterday, Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillian joined local government officials in Norfolk to mark the grand opening of Virginia’s first light-rail system.
Called The Tide, the 7.4-mile light-rail system serves 11 stations between downtown Norfolk and Interstate 264. Operated by Hampton Roads Transit, the line connects to a network of bus routes that serve a population of 1.3 million.
“As the citizens of Norfolk and Hampton Roads region will soon discover, when light rail comes to town, wonderful things happen,” McMillian said in a prepared statement. “New housing, retail and business opportunities spring up in neighborhoods served by new transit routes, traffic congestion declines and household transportation costs go down.”
The Federal Transit Administration approved a $232 million full funding grant agreement for the project in October 2007. The project received an additional $32.8 million in federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Tide will feature other special events and free rides through the weekend before officially opening for revenue service on Monday.