Big updates on the Pulse!


This week, you've got the opportunity to attend two public meetings! Lucky you!

First, there's a meeting on Monday (April 24th) at 6:00 PM to collect feedback on changes coming to some of the bus stops along the Pulse's route. As part of the Richmond Transit Network Plan, bus stops in dense, walkable areas (aka the Pulse's route) are being spaced out a bit further (five per mile) so buses serving that area can move a little faster. Since buses are saving a bit of time zooming around downtown, we can use that extra "bus time" elsewhere in the city. You can see the full list of of the proposed stop changes on the GRTC website.

Second, this coming Thursday (April 27th) at both 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM, you can join GRTC, Lane Construction, and BRT fans for the regularly-scheduled quarterly Pulse information meeting. I hear that the construction company will give us a substantial update on their progress and maybe, just maybe, an estimated opening date for the Pulse! Fingers crossed.


This past week, the Planning Commission delayed their vote on the Pulse Corridor Plan. The Pulse corridor is already attracting some majors transit-oriented development, and the adoption of a plan like this would guide future development along the corridor. This particular plan (PDF) hopes to encourage development that folllows six principles of transit-oriented development:

  1. Mixed-use (housing, employment, entertainment, daily needs, etc)
  2. Viable transportation alternatives (walking and biking)
  3. Dense, compact development (taller and larger buildings to add housing and jobs)
  4. Historic preservation (retaining existing historic structures)
  5. Transit access (easy access to the Pulse and the local transit network enabling fewer car trips)
  6. Connectivity (a well-connected street grid and transit network)


Next City has two piece worth reading this week:

The first looks at transit equity. In Washington D.C., if you own a car you can live up to 20 miles away and still maintain an hour-long commute. But, without a car, your hour only gets you seven miles. That inequity gets worse when the region considers cutting service at 11:30 PM on weekdays. Make sure you check out this bit of mapping work from the Washington Post analyzing how the coming changes to their transit system impacts folks across the region.

The second piece looks at how cuts to federal transit funding programs like TIGER, New Starts, and Small Starts will impact small and mid-sized cities. Unless something changes, it looks like cities who have not yet signed on the dotted line with the Feds, regardless of how far along in the process they are, will lose their funding. This includes over 50 projects across the country! Transit capital costs are expensive, and these cuts will remove direct federal sources of funding, forcing localities to rely much more heavily on their states.

—Ross Catrow