This week in transit: Everywhere you look, a BRT


Now that the Planning Commission has given it the OK, Richmond's City Council will take a look at an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would allow for more density along the Pulse corridor. Scott's Addition is the first neighborhood that could be rezoned for less parking, more density, more mixed use!

Hampton and Newport News will consider building a BRT that would connect the two cities and the shipyard. Leaders in those communities see improved transit as a path toward improved economic development. Like Charleston (which you'll read about below), they'll now work on putting together a project that will compete for limited federal funding.


For the next couple of weeks, this section of our wonderful weekly email will be provided by our new intern Zac. He'll be helping us with some research, planning, and writing—including, among other things, this!

Charleston continues to move forward with their BRT project. They've already secured $250 million of funding through their half-cent regional sales tax increase—some of this money will go toward capital costs while some will be stashed away for future operating costs. Making progress towards sustainability—like passing a regional tax to support transit—makes projects like this more attractive to federal funders.

The California Bicycle Coalition recently conducted a survey of Californian voters and found that two thirds want complete streets with bike lanes and sidewalks and close to half want transit spending to be equal to or greater than that spent on road and freeway improvements. California is often thought of as state where people want to drive everyplace, but this shows that voters want to walk, bike, and take the bus; they just need to be given the option.

Portland Oregon is a fast growing city, and with more people come more cars. That results in the bus system being caught in traffic and not running as quickly as they would like. To fix this, the Portland Department of Transportation and transit advocates are discussing enhanced transit options, which includes dedicated lanes and higher capacity buses, as well as bringing transit to developing areas.

Edmonton is joining the growing list of cities switching to a high frequency bus network. Currently, bus coverage is spread equally throughout the city but the new plan will increase coverage to high density areas and add express routes between the city and suburbs.

Adding extra lanes is often the response to traffic congestion, but residents of Spring Hill Tennessee have other ideas. The Tennessee Department of Transportation hosted a meeting to discuss options for reducing traffic congestion on Interstate 65, which runs to Nashville. Voters in the meeting overwhelmingly favored a regional transit system over HOV lanes or widening the highway.

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