Last week, the excellent Transit mobile app launched in Richmond, and you should go download it right now! The app does an incredible job at showing you the best ways to get around town by bus, walking, bike, or even RVA Bike Share, and gives you an easy-to-read list of different travel options sorted by trip length. It really is a game changer.
Note that the availability of the Transit app in Richmond is only possible because GRTC opened up to developers their bus scheduling and real-time data feeds. This was something we asked y’all to advocate for last year, and, now, you can see the impact of that advocacy! Good work!
AROUND THE REGION
There are very, very few cities in the United States that are seeing ridership increase on public transportation, but Richmond is now one of them. After several years of decline, bus ridership in Richmond is up 21%! That’s a huge percentage! When localities invest in better bus service, more people ride the bus. It’s a pretty straightforward formula that we should continue to follow.
This past week, the Henrico County board of supervisors hosted their annual retreat at which they talked a bit about public transportation. From the County’s Twitter account: “Henrico's focus on transit service will continue in 2019, with a study of Route 1 Brook Road Corridor; an assessment of Park-N-Ride express services; and shelter improvements.” It’s exciting to hear that Henrico won’t let their transit momentum stall and is already looking to expand upon their big-time services increases from last year. Also, because it’s fun to dream about the future, with the County’s interest in building a sports arena at the Richmond International Raceway one can imagine extending the #3 Highland Park route north to connect to Laburnum and increasing the frequency of the hourly #91 Laburnum Connector.
Over in the Virginia Mercury, Danny Plaugher from Virginians for High Speed Rail has a column about how landing Amazon can and should push the Commonwealth to build a modern transportation network.
Does the proliferation of Uber and Lyft reduce car ownership? Survey says: Probably not. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and, as the author of this article says, to reduce those emissions we need to “continue to expand space-efficient and active transportation options...but it’s not some new form of ‘shared mobility.’ It’s frequent, reliable, safe, and comfortable public transportation.”
Gwinnett County, a suburb of Atlanta, has officially begun their campaign to join their regional transportation network. On March 19th, county residents will vote on a referendum to both join MARTA and levy a 1% sales tax to pay for a ton of transportation improvements. Check out the Go Gwinnett! advocacy website to learn more.