On May 8, Regional Planner & Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Coordinator Paula Melester and Transit Planner Devon Thompson traveled to Warsaw, Virginia to meet with fellow TDM professionals to learn how microtransit is being implemented in rural Virginia. The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT)’s Chesapeake Chapter organized the event. The Chesapeake Chapter is hosting a series of in-person meetings this year to discuss topics of interest in the Transit and TDM industries. Microtransit is a hot topic right now, as agencies are considering how it might supplement or replace fixed transit routes.
The meeting was hosted by the Northern Neck Planning District Commission. Bay Aging and Bay Transit staff presented their microtransit pilot program – Bay Transit Express. Michael Norvell, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for Bay Transit, shared lessons learned and performance data from the first year of operations for Bay Transit Express. The service has been very successful in Gloucester, Virginia, providing on-demand transportation solutions in rural areas.
CSPDC staff talked with Michael about Bay Transit’s experience, from feasibility study through implementation. The CSPDC and BRITE Transit have plans to conduct a microtransit feasibility study for the BRITE service region in FY25 as part of the Transit Development Plan. Information gleaned from early adopters – particularly in rural areas – will help guide the scope of future studies.
Bay Transit Express is also featured in the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT)’s recently published Rural Microtransit Case Study and Report. You can read more about microtransit in rural Virginia by reviewing the report on the DRPT website.