Express bus service starts May 24

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Starting May 24, you'll be able to take an express ride between Richmond and Mechanicsville. GRTC met with Hanover County leaders and residents this afternoon to discuss the new service.

You'll be able to catch the bus at the Park and Ride which is located just past the intersection of Old Mechanicsville Turnpike and Cold Harbor Road. It will cost you $6, round trip.

GRTC hopes to help people save time, money, and the environment. In just a few weeks you'll be able to take a 20 minute express trip on a coach bus from Mechanicsville to downtown Richmond. It's equipped with Wi-Fi and reclining seats.

"There's a lot of stress trying to commute on a daily basis; we know about that just from watching you each morning. It's a tough commute, so anything that we can do to alleviate not only the stress of getting in, but also to help with the cost on your pocketbook, it's a great thing, and people really like that," said Kathy Shaw Clary, GRTC Director of Marketing.

A GRTC spokesperson says a few people have voiced concerns that bus routes bring crime, but statistics don't back that up. In fact, when gas prices were high--bus service sky-rocketed--but when they dropped...

"We did not lose a single rider. They still chose to use the service, it's almost like try it, you'll like it, and they never go back," said Kathy.

The residents say they think an express bus route to Mechanicsville is, overall, a good idea. The county agrees. A spokesperson says they are very interested in hearing what GRTC has to say about this proposal, and hope this will be a useful service.

The bus stop is just a few blocks from the popular Virginia Employment Commissions' Mechanicsville location. Similar service to Ashland, Fredericksburg and Chesterfield has been a success. And GRTC has high hopes for the new Mechanicsville route. GRTC received a federal grant to start this service. The state is allowing the use of the Park and Ride.

"I think it will give commuters yet another option and another way to be able to save money and save on their commute and to really enjoy that ride," Kathy said.

GRTC hopes to secure funding to run this route for at least 3 years and hopefully longer, if it's a success. For more information about bus routes you can visit GRTC's website. The details of the express bus to Mechanicsville will be posted within the week. If you don't have a computer, you can call 358-GRTC.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.