This week in transit: Free to Ride on August 21st


On August 21st, the Isaiah Project (our faith-based outreach initiative) will host a screening of Free to Ride. This documentary explores the intersection of public transportation and Civil Rights in Dayton, Ohio plus raises key issues about the important role public transportation plays in our communities and the role faith groups can have in advocating for change. You can see the trailer of the film here, and you can RSVP here (but the event is free!).

Also, July’s nearly done, and RVA Rapid Transit is still on the hunt for 100 new supporters. If you’d like to donate (any amount!) to our work of advocating, educating, and organizing for a frequent and far-reaching public transportation system, you can do so over on our website.


According to a new study, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing services (aka Transportation Network Companies or TNCs) are not reducing traffic in American cities. Keep in mind, though, this research mostly applies to large American cities. However, this makes a lot of sense wherever you live: “The main conclusion is that TNCs are bound to generate more car traffic in cities for two reasons: They mostly draw passengers who wouldn’t have otherwise used a car, and each TNC trip includes significant mileage with no passenger.”

Speaking of fixing congestion, the head of Washington DOT says the state can’t highway-build their way out of traffic. In fact, he says that the issue stems from a lack of affordable housing in the transit-rich city center, which, in turns, forces folks to live in the outlying suburbs which lack public transportation.

Cincinnati may look to an increase in sales tax to help fund its current public transportation system. Here’s a good explanation of why a regional tax for public transportation helps everyone, even if you never plan on riding the bus: “If you don’t ride the bus, this still affects you. It affects the tax rate on everything you buy in Hamilton County. And public transit, whether you use it personally or not, is key to a city’s success or failure. It affects the environment, when there are more or fewer exhaust pipes on the road. It affects the unemployment rate and investment, whether companies want to move to a city or not.”

If you'd like to support RVA Rapid Transit's work to bring a truly regional transit system to Richmond, consider making a tax-deductible donation.

—Ross Catrow