AROUND THE REGION
The big news this week was Bon Secours and VCU Health securing sponsorship rights to the Pulse to the tune of $425,000 annually—a total of $6.4 million over 15 years. CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics Deborah Davis says, “...we know that reliable transportation plays a key role in creating healthy communities.” Yes!
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a piece looking at the eviction rates in Richmond—it’s a piece you should definitely read. One of the authors, Emily Badger, took to Twitter to talk through some of her experiences meeting with folks in Richmond, and came to this conclusion: “I think much of the problem in Richmond stems from the high poverty rate -- there are many families here segregated from opportunity, cut off from jobs by a bad regional transit network, living with a weak safety net.” While we celebrate the recent transit wins—and there have been a lot of them: the Pulse, the rejiggering of all of the routes, expansion and extension of Henrico’s routes, free bus passes for RPS high school students—we can’t forget that there’s still a lot of work left to do to build the transit systems that connects the entire region.
If you think there’s a lot going on with transit in Richmond, read this interview with Jeff Mann, general manager of GoTriangle. They’ve got it all: Buses, rail, more frequency!
In Nashville, where they’re quickly approaching a vote on a transit funding referendum, a pro-transit group has released the Declaration of Transportation Independence, which I think is great. It’s got six points, not specific to Nashville, declaring that people should have the right to:
- Choose whether to drive, take public transportation, walk or bike for the majority of trips.
- Get where they need to go every day, affordably, quickly and safely no matter how they get around.
- Decide not to own a car, or to be forced to buy a second one.
- Decide not to use a car to make every trip because there is another option.
- Have access to transportation that is equitably provided without regard to age, race, income or neighborhood.
- Walkable communities, with sidewalks prioritized around transit stops, and with safer crossings and intersections that make walkable, affordable and transit-oriented communities possible.
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