Norfolk Transportation

Norfolk, Virginia has a history that goes back to Colonial times. Immigrants from England first reached the shores of Virginia on a ship and colonies were established. Other colonies began to spring up around the area and in the early 1600's. The first mode of transportation in the area was a ferry that carried people and goods across the Elizabeth River. The Hampton Roads Transit handles the ferry service from Norfolk to many surrounding areas. About 15 ferry's travel to different ports throughout the Norfolk area.. Most run every 30 minutes but run on a 15 minute schedule during the summer tourist season.

Roads are good and several tunnels also connect to various areas across Norfolk's many waterways. The Interstate Highway System, established in 1952, quickly began connecting Norfolk with the surrounding areas with connections that included highways, tunnels and bridges.

The railroad came to Norfolk and began bringing coal from the Pocahontas fields. Norfolk & Western was the first to lay tracks to carry the coal to Lambert's Point. It was later joined by the Virginian Railway. A steam passenger railroad service carried visitors between downtown Norfolk and Ocean view. It rapidly gained new riders as the tradition began with families traveling to the shore on weekends. Street cars were also popular modes of transportation to the beaches. Norfolk is also served by Amtrak. Amtrak has three stations within 15 miles of downtown Norfolk. Easy connections can be made through the city's bus transit system.

The bus system is also handled by Hampton Roads Transit. The bus service is inexpensive and reliable. It will connect to several areas in and around Norfolk and take you to other forms of transportation. Norfolk has a few unique modes of transportation. The Tide is a light rail that has eleven open stations. It runs between the Eastern Virginia Medical Center and goes through all major areas in the Norfolk area. It services city Hall, MacArthur Center and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The Tide runs on a 10 minute schedule during peak rush hours and a 15 minute schedule during off peak hours. It does run on the weekend with different schedules for Saturday, Sunday and for weekday evenings.

Taxi service is readily available and is handled by at least 12 taxi services. Taxi stands are plentiful, the cabs are clean and they have friendly drivers.

One of the most unique modes of transportation is the F.R.E.D. It is a battery operated car that carries 5 passengers. It is an on-demand courtesy shuttle service that operates within the confines of the Downtown Improvement District. The car has a solar powered roof and the ride is free. It is operated by trained shuttle drivers. This unique Free Ride Every Day convenience is offered during various hours Monday through Saturday.