Question: How will rapid transit in Richmond overcome opposition by the Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover Board of Supervisors?
Nicholas: Richmond has control of its own jurisdiction, so does not need to overcome any county resistance to put in rapid transit within the city limits. But, fortunately, county resistance is starting to erode. Henrico has already partnered with Richmond to build the first rapid transit line (the Pulse), and is currently working on a plan to both adjust its routes based on Richmond's new system and expand service in the near future. Just recently, a majority of the Henrico Board of Supervisors announced they were in favor of extending the Broad Street bus (the #19) to Short Pump in this budget cycle. Since the plans have already been studied and prepared for a few years at the regional and now Henrico level, there's even chance we could see a bus to Short Pump this summer! After that, expect more.
We've also heard enthusiasm from many people in Chesterfield, Hanover, and Ashland. Chesterfield Supervisor Jim Holland has talked about service on Routes 1 and 10, and Supervisor Steve Elswick has made some positive comments. Sheriff Karl Leonard thinks giving people other transportation options will help stop people who have lost their driver's license from getting incarcerated—which will save the county money. And Ashland really wants a dedicated connection to the region by bus, likely along Route 1 into the city.
Of course, the best way to impress upon elected leaders that people in the Richmond region want better transit is to literally impress upon them by speaking to them by phone, email, or in person. Letting elected officials know what you, the constituents, want is incredibly important!