This week in transit: Changes coming to the bus system


Henrico had their first meeting about the coming changes to their portion of the region's transit network. They've got an online survey up that you should take as it will help the county decide some of their transit priorities. If you'd like to learn more about the trade-offs between "ridership" (frequent buses that you may have to walk further to catch) and "coverage" (infrequent buses that come right to your door), I recommend that you check you the Henrico County Transit Choices Report (PDF).

Note! There are two more of these meetings—on October 16th and November 2nd—and they are a great opportunity to learn more and let County officials hear your opinions.


GRTC has begun the process of phasing out GoCards in preparation for modern fare cards. On October 29th, you will no longer be able to buy the $10 GoCards. Additionally, fareboxes will stop issuing Change Cards. This means if you're paying with cash really, really make sure you have exact change! Then, on December 31st, buses will no longer accept the old $10 GoCards. GRTC is getting rid of these older methods of payment to prepare the way for tap cards and a mobile payment app! Can't wait!

This is great news, too: "The City of Richmond and Henrico County collaborated to provide a service extension on the new Route 8 Nine Mile Richmond. After the Route 7 Nine Mile Henrico ends weekday service at 7PM, the Route 8 Nine Mile Richmond continues to provide service every 30 minutes from Downtown Richmond to the Walmart at Laburnum and Nine Mile Rd through 10PM weekdays and on weekends 6AM to 7PM." Currently, the #7 bus will get you to that Walmart, but only on weekdays. Providing weekend service to a place to shop, buy groceries, and work is great. Now let's spread useful weekend service across the entire system!


This video about the history of public transportation in the United States will bum you out. To get the full bummer experience, keep in mind that Richmond invented the electric street car in 1888. But, watch all the way through to the end for some reasons why expanding Richmond's public transportation network is a good and important thing to do.

In Pittsburgh, the transit agency will now offer free 15-minute bike share rides for bus riders. Their hope is to give riders another tool to solve the first/last-mile problem of getting to or from public transit. I love this idea, and it'd make sense for Richmond—we have a bike share station right at the Temporary Transfer Plaza downtown. I often take a bike share from Church Hill, over the Leigh Street Viaduct to the Transfer Plaza to catch a bus home.

Every transit rider is a pedestrian at some point in their trip. Check out Philly's innovative work in collecting data for their Vision Zero program. Instead of hosting Vision Zero-specific meetings, city officials showed up at pre-existing community meetings, festivals, and government meetings. Now they've got the data in hand to show elected officials that citizens strongly support safe streets for all.

If you'd like to support RVA Rapid Transit's work to bring a truly regional transit system to Richmond, consider picking up an awesome transit map T-shirt or making a tax-deductible donation.

—Ross Catrow