Newsletter, December 2015

News

RECAP: "TRANSIT MEANS BUSINESS FORUM" SUCCESS

City Council Nears Key Vote Regarding "GRTC Pulse" - likely January 25, 2016

  • We are nearing the final vote for City Council to approve the contract to construct the GRTC Pulse -- bus rapid transit running along 14 station stops across the city from Rocketts Landing to Willow Lawn, largely along Broad St and some Main St.
  • BUT some are calling for a "no" vote or a delayed vote (you can see detailed consideration of recent concerns on the RVA Rapid Transit post here, and as always, RVA News has got quality coverage of GRTC Pulse and any FAQ out there. Click here). The Call to Action section below discusses critical ways to voice support. 
  • There are three dovetailing studies presently afoot, which range from studying the vision for regional transit to examining further enhancement and connectivity of the current system with the BRT. These studies lay the groundwork for why now is the critical time to press forward with BRT. See below for more details.  

three dovetailing Studies, unparalleled opportunity

  • With the three studies described below, we have an unparalleled opportunity not only to vastly improve public transit and spur job creation as far as GRTC currently extends, but also to lay the ground work for the next steps of expansion into the whole metro area. The three studies should all be completed by December 2016 (two even by this summer), leaving key time to implement initial phases with the opening of GRTC Pulse, which is presently scheduled for October 2017.
  • A delay or no vote from City Council regarding the GRTC Pulse beginning construction this spring will not advance the ball, but mainly hold these studies and plans back from their full potential with uncertainty about BRT implementation. Additionally, on the metro-wide front, RVA Rapid Transit and the Metro Richmond Clergy Committee for Rapid Transit (www.metrocrt.org) are already engaging with the Henrico Board of Supervisors about undertaking studies of expansion of BRT from Willow Lawn to Short Pump and from Rocketts Landing to the airport.  
  • The three studies are as follows: 
  1. Comprehensive Operational Analysis Study - Fluid connection of the GRTC Pulse to the rest of the GRTC system as it currently extends is going to be absolutely critical to improved transit and enhanced access for all. As such, the City is imminently contracting for a Comprehensive Operational Analysis Plan to receive broad public input to re-envision the entire GRTC system in the city to maximize its effectiveness. More info to come, but this study should begin in January 2016. See RTD article "City to rethink GRTC routes."
  2. Richmond Regional Transit Vision Plan - Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit (DRPT) is presently undertaking this study on transit for the entire metro area. The study's webpage reads, "The process to develop the plan includes numerous tasks to analyze technical issues, coordinate with regional stakeholders and the public and develop a vision for transit in the region." Learn more here. We'll be in touch with more info, but next round of public meetings is scheduled for March. 
  3. Broad & E. Main Streets Corridor Development Plan - The City's Department of Planning and Development Review is running this long-range plan for further fostering development along the BRT corridor from Rocketts Landing to Willow Lawn. The last public input meeting was Nov 19th, and we'll send word of the next round. Learn more here

 

Call to Action: Key City Council Vote

Weekly Email Campaign, Dec 14 - Jan 25

  • City Council members need to hear your voice now more than ever! So for the next six weeks running up to the vote on January 25 (see below), we'll be undertaking a weekly email campaign to respective City Council members.  
  • If you are on RVA Rapid Transit's email list, you should receive the prompt on Mondays from Dec 14 - Jan 25, so be sure to follow the links to email City Council member that week.
  • If you would like to join us and sign up for this weekly email, and RVA Rapid Transit's email list generally, simply follow link here!
Richmond City Council Members: Jon Baliles (West End), Charles Samuels (North Central), Chris Hilbert (Northside), Kathy Graziano (Southwest), Parker Agelasto (Central), Ellen Robertson (Gateway), Cynthia Newbille (East End), Reva Trammell (Southside), and Michelle Mosby (South Central)

Richmond City Council Members: Jon Baliles (West End), Charles Samuels (North Central), Chris Hilbert (Northside), Kathy Graziano (Southwest), Parker Agelasto (Central), Ellen Robertson (Gateway), Cynthia Newbille (East End), Reva Trammell (Southside), and Michelle Mosby (South Central)

Key City Council Meeting (Begins 6 PM Monday, January 25, 2016)

  • Stay tuned, but again, on Monday evening, January 25, City Council will likely be voting on the final contract for the construction of the GRTC Pulse (largely station stops and median work in some sections).
  • The meeting will begin at 6 pm. More details to come, but we will likely need supporters present (signs/buttons in the works) and if you would like to speak, there should be opportunity to do so to help secure this first step to metro-wide transit!