After a year of hard work, the planners behind the Richmond Transit Network Plan are ready to present their draft! As you know, the Richmond Transit Network Plan is the once-in-a-generation opportunity to rework the City's bus lines to work more efficiently and integrate seamlessly with the GRTC Pulse.
It's critical to express your support for this incredibly exciting plan at one of several public meetings over the next couple of weeks:
- January 18th, 12:00–2:00 PM, Main Public Library (101 E. Franklin Street)
- January 18th, 6:00–8:00 PM, DMV Central Office (2300 W. Broad Street)
- January 19th, 6:00–8:00 PM, VCU Sports Medicine Building (1300 W. Broad Street)
- January 21st, 12:00–2:00 PM, Peter Paul Development Center (1708 N. 22nd Street)
- January 24th, 6:00–8:00 PM. Calhoun Center (436 Calhoun Stret)
- January 26th, 6:00–8:00 PM, Partnership for Families Northside (800 W. Graham Street)
- January 30th, 6:00–8:00 PM, Hillside Court Community Center (1500 Harwood Street)
- January 31st, 6:00–8:00 PM, Southside Community Services Center (4100 Hull Street)
Invite your friends, tell your family, send an email to your coworkers! This is the first major change to our bus system in a long time, and it's important to get it right.
If you'd like to hang a flyer up on the stall door at your work, you can download a .zip file of area-specific flyers right here. If you'd like to send an email to your best pal but don't know what to say, I've written an example for you right here!
AROUND THE REGION
Other than extending frequent, 15-minute service across a ton of the city, the Richmond Transit Network Plan has an additional benefit: clockface timing. This means, for example, if your 15-minute bus shows at 7:10, the next one would arrive at 7:25, 7:40, 7:55, and so one. This seems obvious but is definitely not how things work now—for example, check out the number of minutes between #37s at Transfer Plaza Bay A: 17, 14, 17, 20, 20. As you might guess, clockface timing is way easier to memorize than a seemingly random list of times.
Construction on GRTC Pulse stations has started! Between now and March you'll see work begin on the Allison East, VCU & VUU West, VCU & VUU East, Arts District West, and Arts District East stations. This means that you should see actual station platforms take shape in just a couple of months! I have a hard time not just yelling "IT'S HAPPENING!!" to everyone I meet. Construction on various stations continues throughout the year, so you should expect construction basically right up until the Pulse opens in October. If you'd like, you may download a PDF of all the construction updates.
One of the neat components of a BRT like the Pulse is off-board fare collection. That means you can can pay at the stations (which are totally under construction right now...IT'S HAPPENING!!) and just hop right on the bus. This makes boarding way faster and shortens the time of your trip. Part of what makes off-board fare collection work are fare enforcement inspectors making sure the folks hopping on have paid—just like the creepily animated Tom Hanks in The Polar Express. For whatever reason, the General Assembly must approve the creation of these jobs, and you can follow the progress of the bills that do so: HB 1931 and SB 1172.
Chesterfield Board of Supervisors member Chris Winslow is the first supervisor to take the terrible and dangerous walk up Jeff Davis Highway. Ten thumbs up to Supervisor Winslow for taking the time to see firsthand why folks living out there need improved pedestrian infrastructure and fixed-route bus service.
Smart Growth America released Dangerous by Design 2016, a report that examines the metro area that are the most dangerous for pedestrians. Out of the 104 largest metropolitan statistical areas Richmond ranks #44 with 150 pedestrian deaths from 2005–2014 and a "pedestrian danger index" of 81.0. For context, the national PDI is 53.8.