Transit Network Concepts

In the second phase of the Transit System Redesign process, the study team created two contrasting Network Concepts to help everyone in Norfolk think about what transit goals the City should prioritize. These concepts were the focus of public conversation and a survey from June to September 2020. Based on the 1,000+ people who responded to the summer surveys, the City has decided to proceed with a Draft Recommended Network closer to the Ridership Concept.

Existing Network

The map on the right shows the existing Norfolk transit network.

transit legend Norfolk_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 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.

The two concepts below show how we could design the new network depending on which goal is more important, using the same budget we have today.

Note: These concepts are not proposals. The final New Network map is based on input received from the community and it reflects their goals for the future of Norfolk's transit network.

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


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.