1995, the Accomack-Northampton Transportation
District Commission (A-NTDC) applied for a
$150,000 grant for a public transportation
system for the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
In 1996, the Virginia Department of Rail and
Public Transportation (VDRPT) approved the
grant. George Goodrow was hired as Transit
Manager. Busses were ordered; an office (a
storefront in Onancock) was rented; furniture
was acquired, rates and routes were at least
tentatively established; drivers were hired and
STAR (Shore Transit and Rideshare) Transit was
On October 7, 1996, Mary Ardolino
began the Red Route's first run North at Cape
Charles while Bill Harper headed south from
Chincoteague on the Blue Route. They met at Four
Corners Plaza in Onley.
The first two routes grew. STAR Transit
busses became an accepted and, indeed, welcomed
part of the Eastern Shore landscape. But plans
were already afoot to expand the system's
The Yellow Route added on
March 17, 1997 with the intention that it would
travel north from Cape Charles to all the major
employers on the Shore. (It's still running, but
its route is now from Capeville to Exmore.) It
was followed by the Green Route which traveled
back and forth between seaside and bayside from
Painter to Onancock. The Green Route is now a
demand response route servicing the area between
Gargatha and Painter.
Next came the
Orange Route which tried to provide public
transportation to Saxis and Sanford, then the
much anticipated Chesapeake Bay Connector that
transported passengers from Cape Charles across
the Bay to the Hampton Roads area. Next came the
Purple Route (in April of 2000) which runs
opposite the Red Route. Another experimental
route, the Silver Express, connected with
Worcester County Ride at the Maryland line to
give Virginia residents the opportunity to go to
Pocomoke. The final experimental route (so far)
was the Ruby Express, a demand response route
running between Machipongo and Painter.
The Blue, Red, Green, Yellow and Purple Routes
are still in service.
While routes were
coming and going, so were transit managers.
George Goodrow resigned in May of 2000. The A-NTDC
hired a replacement who decided that STAR
Transit wasn't exactly what he was looking for.
The Commission hit the jackpot when they unanimously decided
to appoint Mary T. Ardolino, the first STAR Transit driver hired,
to drive the whole system.
years, Mary (who is now entitled to write CCTM
[Certified Community Transit Manager] after her
name) is STILL STAR's Transit Manager and is
managing STAR Transit happily and successfully.
In 1998, STAR moved from its Onancock
storefront to a rented office in Parksley.
In January of 2009, STAR will finally move into
its very own brand new transit facility in
Some of the faces have changed. So have the
routes and both routes and busses have come and
gone, but STAR Transit's Mission remains the
"STAR Transit, the public transportation
program of the Accomack-Northampton
Transportation District Commission, exists
to provide safe, reliable, and
cost-efficient general public transportation
services to the residents of the Eastern