We're approaching the end of 2017, so it's exactly the right time to thank all of our elected officials for their hard, transit-related work. 2017 was an extremely exciting year for transit all across the region, and leaders in Chesterfield, Henrico, and Richmond have all done their part to take steps towards the goal of building a frequent and far-reaching transit system.
In Richmond, we've seen the preparations made for the Pulse, an entire bus network redesign, and new fare payment technology. Take a minute to email your City Council representative and the Mayor and let them know you appreciate their work leading up to what's sure to be an incredibly exciting 2018.
In Henrico, preparations are underway for the opening of the Willow Lawn Pulse station. The County has also redesigned their portion of the bus network (which includes new service to the airport) and worked with transit experts to come up with a vision for what the future of public transportation could look in the County (PDF). Let your Board of Supervisor representative and the County Manager know that you appreciate their work to improve public transportation in Henrico County.
In Chesterfield, the Board of Supervisors has requested that the State conduct a public transportation feasibility study for the Jefferson Davis corridor. This pairs nicely with the County's work on the Northern Jefferson Davis Special Area Plan, which includes a discussion on public transportation options for the corridor. Take a second to email your Board of Supervisor representative and the County Manager to thank them for beginning to explore what public transportation could look like in Chesterfield County.
AROUND THE REGION
Fairfax County continues making progress on their Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit plans. Here's an editorial by Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay about their recent decision to move the Route 1 BRT project to the top of their Northern Virginia Transportation Authority funding priorities list. The Richmond region does not (yet) have a regional authority like the NVTA that can fund transportation projects using the dedicated funding stream set up by HB 2313. This will most likely be a requirement for our region if we want to begin building a frequent and far-reaching transit system.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has made public transportation her number one priority, and she's not kidding around. The Let's Move Nashville transportation plan will involve $5.35 billion of capital investment over 14 years and includes light rail, BRT, and lots of improvements to local bus services.
Brigham Young University just announced that faculty, employees, and students—along with spouses and dependents—will receive free Utah Transit Authority passes. It'd be great to see a program like this Richmond!
It's fun to look at all of the maps popping up as cities around the country redesign their bus networks into frequent grids. This one from Denver really illustrates just how grid-based some cities in America are. Compare that to Richmond's squiggly spaghetti bowl of roads (PDF)!