This week in transit: See you in Henrico on September 25th


Join us on September 25th at the Henrico Board of Supervisors in a display of support for public transportation. We’re looking for at least 40 folks to come out, wear green, and look supportive. We’ll have a couple of people signed up for public comment, and when they ask you to stand up, you stand up. That’s it! So easy. This particular meeting comes about a week after Henrico begins service on the largest expansion of public transit in the County in the last 25 years—so we’re there mostly to thank the Board for their work and encourage further expansion.

While this effort is put together by our region’s faith-based leaders, it is certainly not a strictly faith-based gathering.


Justin Mattingly at the Richmond Times-Dispatch spoke with Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras as we get ready to head into the new school year. Kamras talks about the challenges facing the district, equity, and his plans to address racial segregation in schools. As he considers theme-based magnet schools and district rezoning, he recognizes that “transportation becomes a huge equity issue when you try to pursue something like that, so that’s going to have to be a huge investment as we think about that going forward.” This, of course, remains true after our region’s youth move on from school and into the workforce. Richmonders should have access to the region’s jobs, regardless of whether or not they can own and drive a car.

Richmond Magazine just published their 2018 Best & Worst list—a reader survey spread across a million and one different categories. This year they asked their readers to finish this sentence: “The GRTC Pulse will...” The number one answer: ”The GRTC Pulse will be great.” Love it!


City Lab has an extensive history of transit in the U.S. titled “How America Killed Transit.” It’s depressing, but worth your time. Here’s the gist: “What happened? Over the past hundred years the clearest cause is this: Transit providers in the U.S. have continually cut basic local service in a vain effort to improve their finances. But they only succeeded in driving riders and revenue away. When the transit service that cities provide is not attractive, the demand from passengers that might ‘justify’ its improvement will never materialize.”

As you know, I’m keeping an eye on cities implementing electric bus pilot programs. Rochester just launched one after winning a federal grant that allowed them to buy one bus and a charging system. Total cost of the program: $2.3 million! These things, while definitely the future, are expensive.

The 2018 Sorriest Bus Stops tournament continues, and this week it’s down to the Final Four of bad bus stops. The stop in Cincinnati is terrible, but, wow, the one in Vancouver is not a place I would ever feel safe getting on and off a bus.

—Ross Catrow