This week, public transportation—or lack thereof—in Chesterfield County made the news: The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Richmond Magazine both covered the County’s ongoing discussions about whether or not to bring bus service to Route 1. It sounds like there’s an opportunity for Chesterfield to apply for a grant that would cover up to 80% of the cost for a three-year public transportation pilot program, and, further, that county staff and even a few members of the Board of Supervisors are interested in doing so. That sounds like progress! Of course it’s not all excellent news as Supervisor Jaeckle seemed to suggest that rather than finally investing in public transportation, the County would be better off encouraging folks “to find people who did have cars and pay them for gas to get you where you were going.”
Should Chesterfield decide to move forward and apply for this grant, something that seems like a no-brainer, the pilot bus service should be designed to succeed. That means bus service provided by GRTC so, as Supervisor Winslow said, Chesterfield residents can connect to the rest of the opportunities accessible by the entire GRTC bus network. It also means regular ol’ fixed-route bus service—not dial-a-ride, 15-passenger vans.
If you’re a Chesterfield resident and would like to contact your member of the Board of Supervisors about this potential pilot program, you can find all of their contact information here.
AROUND THE REGION
Also in Chesterfield news, County Manager Joe Casey responded to the report from the Greater Washington Partnership that specifically says the County needs bus service. You can read all of the Partnership’s recommendations for transportation in the super region (Baltimore, D.C., and Richmond) here (PDF).
VCU will further solidify their commitment to GRTC and Richmond’s public transportation network by reducing their Campus Connector service to an express route and encouraging faculty, staff, and students to take the Pulse and the #5 bus.
In double good news for Oklahoma City, this week their new streetcar opened and they got the news that they picked up $14.3 million in federal money to build a Bus Rapid Transit line.
This is pretty much a worse case scenario: After returning their all-electric bus fleet due to defects, Albuquerque’s BRT is now on hold until 2020. The City will consider using the finished stations and bus lanes as...temporary music venues? Yikes.