Transit System Redesign

What is the Transit System Redesign? 

Multimodal Norfolk will include a full redesign of the City’s public transportation system that will evaluate and recommend important policy related to transit funding and stop spacing. The City will examine innovative options to deliver transit service, including micro-transit and other on-demand solutions that will best serve the needs of the City.

Transit Network Concepts

Thank you for taking the time to help improve our bus network. Norfolk may redesign its bus network as early as 2021. Every bus route could change. Our study team has developed the concepts below to help you think about what transit goals you want the city to prioritize.

First, let’s look at our bus network today, and then two Concepts for how it might change. We need to know what you think of the Concepts so we can design the best possible plan later this year. Note, these Concepts are not proposals.

Whether you ride transit or not, the transit network is part of your community, and your taxes help pay for bus service, so we want your opinion.

Existing Network

This is a map of the existing Norfolk transit network.

transit legendNorfolk_Existing Network_20200612 for web Opens in new window

The color of each line tells you the maximum wait for that bus or train, on a weekday. For example, on a blue line, a bus comes every 30 minutes. On a light blue line, a bus comes only once every 60 minutes.

People are more likely to use frequent service (red lines) because a bus or train is usually coming soon. These lines typically offer better night and weekend service, which makes it easier for people to use the bus for all sorts of activities.

But the only frequent line during midday is The Tide. Most routes come every 30 or 60 minutes during the day on weekdays. Some routes come more frequently during rush hour. For more detail, you can download a larger map (PDF) or read our Concepts Report (PDF) to learn more about the existing network. 

How should we design our new network?

It depends on our goal.

If our goal is to get lots of people to ride the buses (high ridership), then we would run very frequent service (every 15 minutes or so) where there are lots of people and lots of jobs close together. But where there are fewer people, jobs, and bus riders, we might not run buses at all. 

If our goal is to reach as many places in the area as possible (high coverage), then we would spread out our bus service. But when we do that, very few bus routes can offer frequent service (most routes run every 30 or 60 minutes), and fewer people find the bus system useful because they can’t travel when they need to.

Norfolk_Coverage Concept_20200612 for web Opens in new window
Norfolk_Ridership Concept_20200612 for web Opens in new window
*Click image to enlarge
*Click image to enlarge

Coverage Concept 

When we spread out our bus service, we get:

  • Bus service in more areas, even if not many people use it
  • More bus service in low-density areas
  • Lifeline transit access that might not exist otherwise

Ridership Concept

When lots of people ride the buses, we get:

  • Less traffic congestion
  • Less air pollution
  • Most people have access to more jobs and opportunities


The two Concepts show how we could design the new network depending on which goal is more important, using the same budget we have today. Your opinion will help us understand what to do when we design the final plan.

The Concepts are not proposals. We will design the draft plan later this year based on your input.

Learn more about the Concepts in this Intro to the Concepts Video Presentation

Want more background information on the key transit trade-offs? 

See our Key Transit Choices section for more.