This week in transit: I hit up the Pulse informational meeting, the Washington Post declares buses cool, and I found a couple good transit ideas that we should totally steal.
AROUND THE REGION
I stopped by this past week's quarterly Pulse informational meeting to pester the representatives from Lane Construction about a possible opening date. The closest I got to an answer was, "September is still our goal." If you're interested, you can flip through their 51-page presentation (PDF) and check out some pictures of the construction sites. Also, if you're driving by Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, make sure you check out the nascent concrete totem (pictured above)! It's the first piece of a BRT station to rise above the ground and will eventually display and indicator of when the bus will arrive.
The Washington Post declares that riding the bus is finally cool. And I agree! Due to recent infrastructure issues with D.C.'s metro, folks living there have had all sorts of reasons to skip the train and try out the bus—and guess what? It's pretty rad! Some of the same stereotypes Washingtonians have about their bus system—slow, grubby, and sketchy (those are the WaPo's words)—are things Richmonders believe about our bus system. But, turns out, once you get on board you'll find a lot of those feelings are misplaced. If you haven't, try it! You'll like it!
I love this idea of putting up pedestrian waydfinding signs that help get people from their neighborhoods to transit. With the Pulse and the Richmond Transit Network Plan both making significant changes to our bus system, maybe some of the neighborhoods most impacted would benefit from signs like this? I'm thinking the Fan, the East End, and parts of the South Side?
OK congresspeople, which of you wants to donate $50,000 of your campaign funds toward a GRTC free ride campaign? Congressman Michael Capuano from Massachusetts did just that to promote Boston's new Fairmont Line with a two-week period of free rides. Since he was so instrumental in it, maybe Governor McAuliffe would want to sponsor a free-ride week sometime in 2018? Can't hurt to ask, right?
This piece on the LAist about why their metro seats are upholstered is amazing. GRTC's newest buses have hard plastic seats, which, in my opinion, are vastly superior to the cushy fabric seats on the older buses. A constant fear I have is unexpectedly sitting on a soaking wet seat cushion—a fear complete assuaged by the new buses!