Virginia: Lessons to learn on New York’s transportation

What Hampton Roads transit system? I lived there for two years and there wasn’t even a whiff of an idea for starting a transit system.


IT’S TRUE that you can’t compare Hampton Roads’ rail system to New York City’s transportation network of rail, light rail, tunnels and bridges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it — the good and bad.

In the past 15 years New York City’s rail system has incorporated private elements in its offerings. Most folks don’t realize that the city has light rail, an eight-mile system called AirTrain that opened in 2003 and connects the Long Island Railroad Jamaica station in Queens and the Howard Beach subway station in Brooklyn to JFK airport.

The system was built over one of the most heavily trafficked routes in the city, including the Van Wyck Expressway. It charges a separate fare almost twice the subway and bus fares and is run by Bombardier for the Port Authority.

When MetroCard was introduced in the late 1990s, delivery and customer service were outsourced for…

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