We’ve come to the end of Richmond’s budget season, and, thanks to your advocacy, City Council reversed course on their decision to strip $965,000 of new funding from GRTC and, instead, agreed to include about 80% of that ($798,120) in their final budget. This new money will go toward extending hours for three routes on Richmond’s Southside and creating a new route in the East End to connect even more neighborhoods to the new grocery store. Again, this wouldn’t have been possible without each and everyone of you who contacted their City Council representative expressing support for public transportation; throughout the budget process, several councilmembers spoke about just how much they’d heard from constituents who disagreed with the original decision to strip all of the new funding from GRTC.
Now, and this is important, please take two minutes and thank your councilperson for ultimately deciding to support new funding for public transportation in this year’s budget. Just send them a quick email, it won’t take but a couple of minutes!
AROUND THE REGION
This coming Sunday, May 12th, GRTC’s next round of service updates will take effect. This includes a bunch small route and stop tweaks, but also: Changes to how the 50/76/77 turn around (they’ll now head all the way down to Meadow) and the return of 15-minute frequencies to the Fulton routes (4A/B) during peak hours.
GTRC will upgrade their bus stop signs with new Braille markers. These new markers will include the stop number, which will help folks access realtime arrival information, and should roll out to all bus stops this month.
Check out this awesome corridor study by the Columbus, Ohio region. They’re seeing 120 people moving to the region every day and think that, by focusing development and transit along five major corridors, they can handle 50 to 60 percent of that future growth. I love this effort to address the future needs for housing, transportation, and employment in one cohesive (and pretty straightforward) plan!
Last year, Nashville voters rejected a regional transit funding plan, and, one year later, “commutes remain heavily congested.” Who would have thought! When the Richmond region begins conversations about a regional funding mechanism for public transportation—which may happen sooner rather than later—we should take a long, hard look at Nashville and try to learn from some of their mistakes and missed opportunities.