When GRTC needs to buy new buses or update their maintenance facilities, a large portion for the funding to pay for that comes from the state government. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that funding could disappear which would throw a huge wrench in the works of all the recent progress we’ve been making on transit in Richmond. Should the state decide not to continue funding these capital expenses, in Richmond, we’d most likely see a reduction in service and a decrease in frequency—just after increasing frequency across the entire network through the Richmond Transit Network Plan!
Please let your state representatives know that funding local transit is critical to Richmond and that you support HB1319 an SB856! Our friends at the Virginia Transit Association are heading up this charge and will do all the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is fill out a simple form!
AROUND THE REGION
Drumroll please...GRTC has officially released their GTFS and realtime bus data to the public! That sounds nerdy, but, basically, it means developers of popular transit apps—like Apple Maps, Transit, and Citymapper—can finally include Richmond. It also means that if you want to make your own app you totally could! Thank you to all of the folks who politely asked GRTC to do this and thanks to GRTC for making it happen! Small changes like this make our bus system easier to use for everyone.
As Raleigh looks to expand their transit network, they’re also looking to build new sidewalks and bike lanes. If cities invest in improving transit (which they should), they also need to invest in improving the infrastructure to get folks to that transit (which they should also do).
Jarrett Walker, the transit expert who helped Richmond redesign its bus network, has an interesting post up about the inefficiencies of microtransit. Think of microtransit as an on-demand ride hailing serivce like Uber or Lyft, but one that carries a couple of people and is typically paid for by a transit company. Walker points out that most on-demand services like this serve fewer than three passengers per hour. That’s very few! Even sprawling suburban bus routes serve about 10 passengers per hour.
Bus stop balancing means spreading bus stops out to make trips quicker and more efficient. San Francisco has done it, Denver has done it, and Richmond will do it when our new transit network launches later this year.
The New York Times has a wonderful 10-minute video about the history of the New York City Subway and its current financial crisis.