Dorian watch: Those who use Hampton Roads Transit might want to know this

(Southside Daily file)
(Southside Daily file)

UPDATE 4:27 p.m. Sept. 5, 2019: Hampton Roads Transit will suspend bus, ferry, light rail, and paratransit services all day Friday due to threatening conditions related to Hurricane Dorian.

Based on current conditions, bus, light rail, and paratransit services will continue operating all day Thursday. Ferry service will cease operations at 4 p.m. Thursday in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard guidance. There will be a bus bridge from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. transporting passengers between Norfolk and Portsmouth. It will pick up in front of Waterside District in Norfolk and both Portsmouth ferry docks. After 6 p.m. customers will still have use of the bus route 45.

For paratransit customers, reservations are being permitted for same day trips on Thursday for customers wishing to evacuate to a safer location from the impending storm.

Customers are encouraged to stay safe and limit travel, if possible, as impacts of Hurricane Dorian are felt across the region.

Services are planned to resume normal operations beginning Saturday. This may change, however, if conditions do not allow for services to be restored safely.


The Hampton Roads Transit is planning to provide regularly scheduled bus, light rail, ferry and paratransit services Thursday and Friday but if weather conditions are unsafe it will alter those services.

HRT updates can be found on their Twitter feed and customer service alerts for those customers who have signed up to receive them. In order to receive alerts, visit The alerts sign up is on the agency’s home page. Transit information is also posted on the HRT’s Facebook page.

HRT buses:

  • If localized flooding occurs, HRT buses will be forced to take detours for some of their routes.

  • If weather conditions worsen over the next few days bus customers should anticipate some service delays.

  • Metro Area Express routes are scheduled for normal service.

Light Rail services:

  • Services will operate as normal but should sustained winds of 50 mph occur in the area, the delivery of service could be suspended.

  • A bus bridge would substitute for light rail service until conditions improve.

  • Depending on wind, rain and tide conditions, water could pool at the Harbor Park parking lot, possibly interrupting light rail service. In that event, train service will stop at the Norfolk State University Station and customers will be able to use a bus bridge to complete their connections to all stations downtown.

Elizabeth River Ferry:

  • The ferry will operate as normal if the Coast Guard keeps the Port of Hampton Roads open.

  • Should sustained winds reach 45 knots (52 mph), it is expected that the port will be closed, at which time HRT ferry operations will be suspended.

  • Rising river levels could flood some ferry landings even in conditions with slower wind speeds. A flooded ferry dock will also suspend ferry operations.

  • Should the ferry cease operations, customers can use bus route 45 to get between Downtown Norfolk and Portsmouth.

Virginia Beach Trolley service:

  • Services are scheduled to run normally.

Paratransit customers:

  • Customers with a scheduled appointment are encouraged to consider postponing until the storm has passed.

  • Transit agency preparations for the storm have included clearing of drains, and sandbags have been placed at locations susceptible to localized flooding.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.