Text Box: HOV/Ridesharing in Hampton Roads




What we know about HOV/Ridesharing in Hampton Roads:


Ž    Hampton Roads commuters support the HOV lanes and believe that the lanes benefit the region.  Many believe that the lanes relieve congestion by reducing the overall number of vehicles on the roads and that ridesharing reduces overall traffic congestion for everyone.  However, usage of the lanes is limited.  Barriers to using the HOV lanes include perceived lack of accessibility and lack of knowledge about how to use the lanes.

Ž    The HOV/Ridesharing system in Hampton Roads was established as a series of “pieces” rather than a whole, commuters do not always recognize its benefits.  Thus, adoption has been slower than it might have been.

Ž    It is especially important to educate this audience and keep information in front of them to remind them consistently of the advantages of HOV/Ridesharing.  Since a sizeable portion of this audience is transient, education and information are even more important.


Key Research Findings:

Ž    The vast majority (over 90%) of commuters in the Hampton Roads area are single-occupant vehicle drivers.  While congestion is increasing, it is not at the level to entice most commuters into alternate modes.

Ž    Commuters rate travel time as the most important factor in determining mode choice.  The second most important factor is travel costs.  However, many commuters don’t perceive Ridesharing or HOV lanes as offering time savings.

Ž    Alternate mode users on Southside are more likely to be female, earn under $50,000 per year, support HOV lanes, and feel comfortable using the HOV lanes.  Many of the alternate mode users work in Norfolk where their parking costs are likely to be a consideration.  The key motivator to rideshare among this group is to reduce commute costs. 

Ž    Environmental concerns are becoming more important and are related to the appeal of ridesharing.  Reducing air pollution, in particular, is becoming a more important motivator to rideshare in both the Peninsula and Southside areas.  And, reducing water pollution is also becoming a strong motivator in the consideration of switching to rideshare modes among Southside commuters.

Ž    Few employers in the region feel it is beneficial to help their employees with their work commute.  Consequently, few (15%) companies currently offer formal work commute assistance programs other than free parking.  Flex-time and telecommuting are the two most popular programs. Source: 2004 Telework!Va Tidewater.

Ž    The two most prospective target audiences for Ridesharing and HOV lane usage appear to be Naval Station Norfolk and Downtown Norfolk.


Related Studies/Documents:


1997:  “TRAFFIX Benchmark Study”

1998:  “TRAFFIX Benchmark Study”

1998:  “Oyster Point Transportation Needs Assessment”

2000:  Norfolk Commerce Park Transportation Needs Assessment”

2000:  Lynnhaven / Oceana Transportation Needs Assessment”

2000:  “Naval Station Transportation Needs Assessment”

2001: Oakland Transportation Needs Assessment”

2002:  “Greenbrier Transportation Needs Assessment”

2001:  Hampton Transportation Needs Assessment”

2004:  Telework!Va Employer Study – Hampton Roads”