This week in transit: What if our elected officials rode the bus for a month?


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Style Weekly's Edwin Slipek has an article about some of the things to consider if Richmond were to raze and rebuild the Coliseum. One of his suggestions involves replacing GRTC's temporary transfer plaza with a permanent structure just north of the John Marshall Courthouse:

A permanent and attractive GRTC transfer station, combined with a parking deck, could be built in the surface lot immediately north of the courts building. Downtown has no better location for mass transit connections considering the convergence of public services, medical facilities, tourist attractions, municipal, state and federal government offices, historic attractions, and a college and university.

As GRTC rejiggers the bus network later this year (aka the Richmond Transit Network Plan), the need for a central place for riders to transfers won't vanish entirely but should decrease. It'll be interesting to see if fewer transfers at a central location will open up additional potential spots for the (much needed) replacement to the current plaza.


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!

Brad Miller, CEO of Tampa Bay’s Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority has given up his car for a month in favor of public transit and listening to the concerns of those who ride it every day. So far he got caught in a storm while walking between bus stops, missed his son’s baseball game, and must wake up earlier to get to work on time. Imagine how transit in Richmond could be improved if policy makers exclusively rode public transit for a month?

Transit ridership is growing in Seattle faster than in any other American city. It’s been credited with revitalizing the downtown, and, now, employers have found that it helps them hire and retain employees—65% of transit rides in King County are done with an employer-subsidized fare. While transit is good for the environment and provides options to the less fortunate, Seattle has found that it’s also just good business.

Bus-only lanes help buses run faster and more efficiently. San Francisco will consider expanding its pilot program of red-painted, bus-only lanes to about 50 additional streets. The Federal Highway Administration will study the effectiveness of the program and then consider legalizing it throughout the country.

This piece about the process and planning behind bringing a BRT to the Charleston region should sound super familiar. Richmond went through the same thing for the Pulse on Broad Street, and building any additional BRT lines on our major corridors will need to follow the same process.

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