Lots going on in the region this week! Hold on tight!
AROUND THE REGION
This week Michael Paul Williams tackles the pretty terrible state of the downtown "temporary" transfer plaza. Since Richmond's bus system is mostly a hub-and-spoke style system, almost every bus route eventually ends up downtown at the transfer plaza behind City Hall—which has limited seating, spotty shelter, and no public bathrooms. Depending on the frequency of the next bus you're trying to take, you could be in for a long stay out in the heat, rain, snow, or whatever else Mother Nature has in store. This situation should improve dramatically when the Pulse opens and the new plans for the bus network (aka the Richmond Transit Network Plan) are implemented. Far fewer folks will need to come all the way downtown to make their transfers, and the need for an expansive transfer center shouldn't be as great. There will still be some need for a smaller-scale transfer location, especially at nights and on Sundays. However, the plan to build a transfer center near Quirk Hotel (mentioned by Michael Paul Williams in the article) seems odd considering the scaled-down need and potential development value of land along the Pulse Corridor. Additionally, even in the newly redesigned bus network, very few routes head past this spot.
Also in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Katy Burnell Evans digs into an analysis of jobs and affordable housing in the Richmond region. According to the study, only 45 percent of modest-wage jobs are located within a quarter-mile of a transit stop. Important to keep in mind: If you live near a bus that comes four times a day during rush hour but you work the night shift or multiple part-time jobs with complex schedules it doesn't really matter how close you live to that bus stop. The study's number one recommendation for new transit is Route 1 South in Richmond and Nothern Chesterfield. Here's the PDF of the full study if you want to dig in.
Speaking of transit along Route 1 in Nothern Chesterfield County, the Chesterfield Observer asks, "Is tide turning for public transit in Chesterfield?" Chesterfield County officials have requested that the State's Department of Rail and Public Transportation conduct a feasibility study for mass transit along Route 1. Turns out, that very same department produced the Regional Transit Vision Plan which recommends service every 15 or 20 minutes all day from the Pulse south to Chester along Jefferson Davis Highway, with a possible express link to Petersburg. Those are direct quotes from page five of the report (PDF). Keep an eye out for the results of this new feasibility study sometime later this year.
Pulse construction update! Broad Street will see some lane closures Tuesday night around Cleveland Street as crews install the steel canopy at that BRT station. Two down, 24 to go!
Transit Center released a new study about what folks want from transit as they grow older (PDF). This list of things is basically the list of things we all want from transit: reliable, frequent service; comfortable waiting areas; and accessible stops and vehicles. StreetsBlog has a quick summary of the study.
This Wired article about Los Angeles hosting the 2028 Olympics is fascinating. The City hopes to use existing collegiate and pro athletic facilities to save money while leveraging all of the Olympics-related development to accelerate many of their existing long-range transit plans.