This past week, GRTC wrapped up their final Richmond Transit Network Plan meetings, bringing a year-long process of planning and outreach to an end. Before we rush headlong into implementation and the hard work of expanding the system into the surrounding counties, let's take a minute, catch our breath, and see what's going on elsewhere.
AROUND THE REGION
The Virginia Transit Association is concerned about President Trump's plan to slash TIGER grants (of which Richmond was a beneficiary) and lots of other transit funding. Read this piece in the Augusta Free Press to get a feel for the scope of the possible impact, and then read this piece on Streetsblog to learn about when those funding cuts could be coming (spoiler: immediately).
Here's a great piece from some folks at the Indy Chamber about how transit is critical in their region for escaping poverty, increasing access to jobs, making the region more competitive, and improving economic growth. That's a lot of good things! It's not all talk either—Indianapolis just approved a 0.25% income tax dedicated to mass transit to pay for their totally redesign regional transit plan (redesign by none other than Jarrett Walker + Associates, who redesigned Richmond's system).
Nashville hasn't passed a tax to pay for improved public transit yet, but a new poll shows that 68% of folks would be willing to pay $0.50 more on every $100 in sales tax if it went towards public transit. That's good because there's a $6 billion plan on the table (PDF) to connect a bunch of jurisdictions in the region with high-quality transit.
Sometimes you open a bus rapid transit system and it annihilates ridership estimates. The CTfastrak BRT in New Britain has doubled ridership in the corridor in just two years!
This article about crazy transit ideas Toronto could implement is charming. Something we definitely don't need in Richmond: Heated sidewalks and bike lanes. Something that would be great: A unified bikeshare/bus fare card.
London! The land of epic traffic and clever ideas to remove as many cars from the roads as possible. The latest idea from across the pond is to give teenagers free bus fare. This get them off the road, of course, but also eventually gives you a larger pool of adults who are familiar with using transit.