The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) estimates that the strangely named “64 Express” has eliminated up to 200 trucks a week from the I-64 corridor between Richmond and Norfolk since its introduction in December 2008. The tugs in the service burn ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel and are outfitted with modern, low-emission diesel engines.
Earlier this year, the service was singled out for praise in a report by the US Environmental Defence Fund. “The 64 Express is an important port asset and we are seeing it generate interest to the point where it may be necessary to increase its frequency,” said J. Keever, VPA’s senior deputy executive director.
Recently the US Department of Transportation (DOT) designated a VPA-proposed expansion of the James River container-on-barge service as a “Marine Highway Project” in the America’s Marine Highway Programme, making it eligible for federal funding. The same project also provides for starting an inter-terminal barge service in Hampton Roads.