Transit friends! For most of the month of March, GRTC has hosted meetings across the city to introduce citizens to the changes coming to the transit system. We're nearing the end of those meetings, so make sure make it out to one—three remain!
- Tuesday, March 28th, 6:00–8:00 PM, Hotchkiss Community Cente (701 E. Brookland Park Boulevard)
- Wednesday, March 29th, 6:00–7:30 PM, Fairfield Court Recreation Center (2506 Phaup Street)
- Thursday, March 30th, 6:00–8:00PM, Powhatan Community Center (5051 Northampton Street)
If you're looking for a nice summary of the changes (and some light weekend reading), check out the Richmond Transit Network Plan final report (PDF).
AROUND THE REGION
This week I had the honor of talking with Open High School students about the Pulse, the Richmond Transit Network Plan, and the vision for regional transit. If you want to talk to a group of folks excited about being able to take the bus to the surrounding counties, find yourself a group of high school students. They audibly gasped at the idea of a quick and efficient trip to Willow Lawn.
Looks like Montgomery County Maryland has picked a name for their Bus Rapid Transit System: Flash. Their BRT will run from Burtonsville to downtown Silver Spring and will, fingers crossed, open in 2020.
What if instead of building more parking decks on valuable downtown real estate, we incentivized folks to commute via transit? Downtown Columbus is doing this very thing and seeing some intense results! By expanding their pilot program and instituting a $0.03 tax per square foot on businesses in the district, they can raise enough money to pay for transit passes for about 40,000 workers. This would free up an estimated 2,400 parking spots and have up to 5,000 folks ditching their cars for commutes.
This quote from an article about the plans for an expansion of the transit system in Omaha sounds so familiar: "Reardon asked how many people in the room had used public transportation while visiting another city. Almost everyone raised a hand. Then he asked how many people regularly use public transportation in Omaha. Fewer than two dozen hands went up."
This March Madness bracket but for the worst surface parking lots near a transit stop made me laugh.