After a bunch of surveys and public meetings, the team working on the Richmond Transit Network Plan have unveiled their official recommended policy direction! They suggest:
- Richmond spend 70% of its bus budget on frequent buses that folks may need to walk a bit farther to get to
- and spend 30% of its bus budget on buses that are a shorter walk for folks to catch but are less frequent.
This is very exciting! Some context: The existing system is a 50-50 split, and the High Ridership Concept is an 80-20 split. Our new system will be transformative for lots of Richmonders and will provide better, more efficient access for almost every neighborhood in the city. I encourage you to use this neat tool to see just how much further the "ridership" model extends access from some of Richmond's neighborhoods to jobs, health care, food, and all sorts of stuff.
You can read through the RTNP presentation to the Organizational Development Standing Committee here (PDF).
If you haven't already, email the Richmond City Council and tell them you support the Richmond Transit Network Plan and are excited for more frequent buses!
AROUND THE REGION
I'm sure you've heard the news, but Jarrett Walker is coming to town, and you have a chance to hear what he has to say about the Richmond Transit Network Plan and how better transit could impact Richmond's future. Walker and his team are internationally known for revamping transit systems, and we're lucky enough to have them working on ours. This is definitely an opportunity you don't want to miss! RSVP now!
GRTC announced that the 102x bus to Kings Dominion hit an all-time high of 50,000 riders this past summer. That's up from just 5,500 riders in 2011. At $5 a trip it's a pretty good deal, too—AAA estimates the true cost of driving a medium sedan the 24 miles to Kings Dominon at $13.68.
Richmonder Sam Davies writes about his first six months using GRTC to get to work. I love this: "There’s a freedom that comes with not worrying about where you’re going to park. Much like a mild chronic back ache, you don’t realize you have it until someone takes the pain away."
If you don't read anything else today, please read this piece in Next City about how lousy public transit in Baltimore creates an unjust city—so much of it rings true for Richmond, too. From the article: "A just Baltimore is a place where the ease and convenience of access is provided for everyone, not just tourists and visitors. Transportation plans and investments must consider the needs and realities of those who depend on public services every day, not only on special occasions. History shows that once services are designed and implemented for a full spectrum of users, more users show up and ridership demand grows."
Organized opposition to the plan to fund Detroit's regional transit plan has formed! They're using one of the classic anti-transit arguments of "For that amount of money, we could just buy everyone cars!" Of course this doesn't include the costs of owning and driving a car or the costs of maintaining roads on which all those new cars will drive.
Jarrett Walker (who you can come see speak on October 18th!) got into it with Uber this week and has an excellent post on why Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft, etc) cannot replace public transportation.
San Francisco's trains are so crowded during rush hour that they've implemented a points program where you can earn actual money for avoiding the morning crush. Dang, talk about high ridership!