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New bus hours good move

Suffolk made a good move this week to expand its public transportation service.

Suffolk Transit will now have extended weekday hours, Saturday service and updated routes. Some routes have also been renamed to make things clearer for the riders.

All of the changes take place July 1.

The changes, especially the new Saturday route and longer service hours, are in direct response to users who had asked for the changes. Several of them spoke during Wednesday’s public hearing about how the changes will affect them positively, including being able to get to work, work extra hours when asked and go downtown on the weekends.

The city dumped Hampton Roads Transit some years ago during a round of budget cuts, believing it could provide better service and administrate the program at a lower cost. HRT was charging the city hundreds of thousands of dollars per year just to be a member, even though it serviced only a handful of routes in Suffolk.

People wondered at the time what was going to happen, but Suffolk Transit has turned out to be beneficial for the community. There are now more routes than HRT had, and there’s no massive overhead.

Council members unanimously supported the changes, and we join them in saying “job well done” to Suffolk Transit.