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Look inside the State of Transit in Richmond

RVA Rapid Transit released its annual report with statistics and goals for public transit in the Richmond Region.

A person stands inside an empty GRTC bus.

Public transit advocates highlight reduced carbon emissions compared to driving.

Photo by RICtoday

Table of Contents

Local advocacy group RVA Rapid Transit has released its 2024 State of Transit Report. The document breaks down the current numbers around public transit in the Richmond Region and provides updates on the group’s advocacy goals.

We’re breaking down the report and how you can get involved in public transit in Richmond.

🚌 What is RVA Rapid Transit?

This year marks the tenth anniversary for RVA Rapid Transit, which began as a grassroots movement in 2014. The nonprofit advocates for the expansion of public transit in our region.

It also hosts public programs including Transit Talks and a multi-week training course for bus riders called Mobility University.

A GRTC bus pulled up to a bus stop at the new Downtown Transfer Station.  A sign reads "Bay A."

GRTC will determine a permanent home for the Downtown Transfer Station soon.

Photo by RICtoday

🚏 Year in review

Last year, GRTC’s bus operator shortage was putting a crunch on the transit company. According to the report, GRTC hired 120+ employees within a 15 month span — as of April, it had 345 bus operators, compared to 246 in May 2023.

GRTC opened its temporary Downtown Transfer Station in fall 2023. It is in the midst of planning where the permanent location will be — the leading options are the current site or nearby at 9th and Clay Streets.

The company also launched the microtransit service LINK last fall, and has since added zones including Clover Dale, Ashland, and Powhatan.

The report also goes into GRTC’s plans to expand its services, including extending Route 1, improving frequency to the airport to 15 minutes, expanding the Pulse west to Parham Road, adding a North-South Bus Rapid Transit line, and adding articulated buses to GRTC’s fleet.

RICtoday_GRTC_LinkMicrotransit

The LINK pilot first launched in November 2023 in the Azalea/Mechanicsville zone.

Photo via GRTC

💸 Future

RVA Rapid Transit identifies several goals in the report, including extending GRTC’s zero-fare program past fiscal year 2025.

GRTC has a program called Transit Access Partnership to combine public and private funds. Private organizations can sign on at different levels to support fare-free service.

📢 Get involved

Groups, businesses, and individuals can Adopt a Bus Stop to take care of an individual stop. Riders can also fill out an online survey to share their thoughts on Richmond’s transit system.

The simplest way to support public transit is the group’s first recommendation — just riding the bus.

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