What could a regional rapid transit system look like?

We've been talking a lot about the Richmond Transit Network Plan lately (their survey is still open if you haven't taken it yet), but there's a lot going on in the region outside of Richmond, too.

The Greater RVA Transit Vision Plan, which should drop sometime this fall, sets out what a truly regional rapid transit system could look like. It's a collaborative effort between the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization, and the GRTC and uses "current transit and demographic data, land use data and plans, transit and population forecasts, public opinion surveys, and stakeholder input to create and present a regional transit vision plan to stakeholders and the public that will guide transit development in the region through 2040."

Here's a big map!

As you can see, it's got BRTs extending through major regional corridors (Routes 1, 6, 60, 250, 360) plus a bunch of local bus service in the counties that does not currently exist.

You can flip through their most recent presentation (PDF, from July 14th) and see some of the specific areas in the region that are ripe for transit and some that will be a...transit challenge. With some of these spots, particularly in the counties, existing land use policies will prevent a lot of the development necessary to attract riders. Luckily, Henrico is in the midst of updating their land use and zoning policies—we just need to work together, as a region, to make sure that some transit-friendly options get included.

Zoning, land use, and plans marked for 2040 (although, why wait?!) are not nearly as exciting as transit experts revamping the City's bus system overnight. But, nonetheless, these things are important progress towards the goal of a regional rapid transit system—and that goal is super exciting!