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Old 02-02-2014, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,164,671 times
Reputation: 3764

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So I had to take the bus recently because of some issues I was having with my car and received a text message from HRT that the bus service would be down until Saturday. Didn't think anything of it, until I waited for my bus and it never came, so I tried to get a cab, and inevitably just walked home from work.

Now I know that this is the South and "we don't get much snow here, yada yada" but a complete disruption of service, because HRT was having trouble clearing on the snow when the roads were clear on Friday? I can understand Wednesday, even Thursday, but Friday? You have to be kidding me.

I consider myself to be an open minded person, and while I do not remember service in Ohio to be down in either my own hometown or the town I lived at during much of the 90s I'm sure it happened if there were like 3 or 4 feet of snow. But Hampton Roads only received 8 inches, and that was only in Chesapeake. Plus The Tide continued to run during that time. Seeing that the tides are changing and this area will get more snow over the upcoming years there has to be a better contingency plan when this happens next winter.

I will say that the snow was cleared sooner, more effectively, than it had in years past this season. But people still have to get to work. Waiting for one of the few cabs in the area to get to you, or perhaps you do not have money for a cab because you work on the other side of the water and cannot afford one, whatever your situation may be, could get a person fired for circumstances outside of their control. In my own case I only had to walk a few miles and could get home in an hour. I suppose I could have waited it out and a cab would have picked me up in that period of time. But a disruption for 8 inches of snow is a concept I have a difficult time wrapping my head around.

I guess it could be worse. In Atlanta it was the Day After Tomorrow. Nothing worse than having to abandon your car on the freeway and then attempt to find it again at some later point.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:09 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,406,894 times
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Major roads were cleared pretty quickly IMO but the neighborhoods are not. Since school busses have to go into the neighborhoods the schools can't open. And since schools can't open, people don't know what to do with their kids so a lot of businesses can't open. Maybe HRT could have opened some routes on major roads but most of them go through neighborhoods as well so they must not have felt comfortable.

Honestly, it just doesn't happen often enough to justify paying for the infrastructure required to deal with that amount of snow sticking around for 3 or 4 days like that. The region, historically, averages around 5" of snow per year and it is extremely rare to see it last for more than a day or two like it did. Although we did have another large event in 2010, before that you would have to go back to the late 80's when I was in elementary school.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/akq/clima...l/ORF_SNOW.pdf

So while it is annoying, unless there is a major shift in the climate around here it is very unlikely that this will happen again next winter. We are just stuck in a pattern this year where the jet stream is dipping way down over the east coast.

Last edited by UHgrad; 02-03-2014 at 05:01 AM..
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:21 PM
 
3,848 posts, read 8,567,710 times
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HRT doesn't go in neighborhoods.

The way they were shut down was completely inexcusable. Unfortunately HR will not get better service from HRT since it is the cities that control it, and the cities that fund it. HRT has no teeth and exists solely at the discretion of local cities. It's absurd.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:07 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,406,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
HRT doesn't go in neighborhoods.

The way they were shut down was completely inexcusable. Unfortunately HR will not get better service from HRT since it is the cities that control it, and the cities that fund it. HRT has no teeth and exists solely at the discretion of local cities. It's absurd.
When I say neighborhoods I mean like this.

http://www.gohrt.com/routes/route-11.pdf

I would consider Colonial primarily residential with a lot of cars parked on the street along that route. It is not Hampton BLVD, Granby, Brambleton, or some other major thoroughfare that was cleared quickly IMO.

But your point is taken, I'm not saying HRT is top notch... but in this case there are a lot of routes that they probably couldn't safely open because they were packed slush and not ok to drive on.

Last edited by UHgrad; 02-04-2014 at 05:29 AM..
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:47 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,406,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Seeing that the tides are changing and this area will get more snow over the upcoming years there has to be a better contingency plan when this happens next winter.
Can you elaborate on this? It seems like a difficult prediction to make with any kind of certainty. As someone who has a fair amount of education in the atmospheric sciences I am just curious what you are basing this claim on.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:10 AM
 
18 posts, read 46,772 times
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According to an article in The Virginian-Pilot [sorry, I can't get a precise cite] the problem was that the snow plows buried the bus stops. More snow-accustomed locales have the budget and equipment to send folks to clean up after the plows.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:00 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,406,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansachs View Post
According to an article in The Virginian-Pilot [sorry, I can't get a precise cite] the problem was that the snow plows buried the bus stops. More snow-accustomed locales have the budget and equipment to send folks to clean up after the plows.
Good info. HRT has something about that also.

HRT to Resume Bus, Paratransit Services Saturday - Hampton Roads Transit - Our mission is to serve the community through high quality, safe, efficient and sustainable regional transportation services.
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