Transportation Planning

Transportation System

The Transportation system is a complex infrastructure network that connects the citizens of Portsmouth with each other and links them to the region, the state, and the world. Transportation systems influence development patterns, support or hinder urban redevelopment, and create an integrated network for all aspects of urban living, commerce, and environmental quality. The City considers the transportation system to be an integral infrastructure component of the city's overall strategy to create a dynamic local economy and provide an excellent quality of life for residents.

Master Transportation Plan

The Master Transportation Plan (MTP) is the City’s Plan for transportation in Portsmouth. The purpose of the MTP is to coordinate transportation policy, investment, projects and priorities through the year 2030 to ensure that the future transportation system supports the City’s goals for land use, economic development, and quality of life. The MTP focuses on creating multi-modal strategies that can improve the economic, social, and physical health of communities while providing mobility and travel choices. The Plan also incorporate fiscally sound strategies and concepts that support quality growth and development, where preferred land use patterns and community revitalization goals provide structure and guidance for transportation investments.

The MTP addresses all transportation modes-pedestrian, bicycle, public transit and passenger rail, motor vehicles and parking, ports and freight movements, and aviation. It address these modes both separately and as a networked, intermodal system.

Portsmouth Master Transportation Plan Part 1 (PDF)
Portsmouth Master Transportation Plan Part 2 (PDF)
Portsmouth Master Transportation Plan Summary (PDF)

Regional Transportation Planning

Portsmouth is a voting member of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO), the federally mandated metropolitan planning agency for the Hampton Roads region. The HRTPO  is responsible for preparing the constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) to guide regional transportation investments. The LRTP is the official transportation blueprint guiding multimodal transportation investments for the region. The plans and actions of other regional and state transportation agencies, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Port Authority (VPA), also impact transportation in Portsmouth. VDOT has a particularly important role to play through its policy, regulatory, and funding programs.

Public Transportation Planning

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is the regional transit provider of public transportation in the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. In Portsmouth, HRT provides fixed route bus service, paratransit, and ferry transit service. The city develops an annual transit service plan with HRT to enhance and improve transit service. More specifics on bus routes, the ferry and schedules can be found on the Hampton Roads Transit website.

Elizabeth River Ferry
Portsmouth Bus Routes
Portsmouth Service Changes for 2024

Active Transportation Planning

Active Transportation includes walking, biking and all non-motorized forms of transportation. Portsmouth’s very flat terrain, mild temperature and historic neighborhoods with ample sidewalks makes it ideal for an extensive active transportation network. The City has completed a citywide bicycle and pedestrian plan. Check out the "Pedal Portsmouth" page for more information and to download the plan.