After a year and a half of delays and $338 million dollars, HRT has finally announced an opening date for the Tide light rail system. The latest delay in opening the system was because of issues with safety equipment.
The Hampton Roads Transit system has announced that the Tide light rail will officially begin running on August 22, 2011. Prior to its official opening, starting August 19, 2011 they will allow three free days of service to the public.
According to The Virginian Pilot, issues with safety equipment orders, installation, and testing is the cause of the latest delay. Equipment such as light signals and communication systems, are designed to avoid collisions between trains, vehicles, and even accidents with pedestrians.
Even with all of this safety preparation, the negligence of a driver or pedestrian has the potential to cause accidents. HRT is urging that motor vehicle operators and pedestrians to be aware of running trains as additional work and testing continues.
The most worrisome areas are in downtown Norfolk, where in several places, a train and vehicle share the same driving space. In these areas it is critical for drivers and pedestrians to obey new traffic signals and signs to avoid accidents and injuries.