HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - GRTC enhanced three bus routes in Henrico County to satisfy rider demand, offering longer hours more bus stops and expanded service to Short Pump.
“We’re very excited we have this GRTC expansion,” Steven Yob, Henrico County director of public works, said. “When you consider our residents now have access to over 6,200 businesses within walking distance of a bus stop, that’s a fantastic thing.”
The changes were made to the 7, 19 and 91 bus lines, according to GRTC director of communications Carrie Rose Pace.
At one time, the 7 used to run from Downtown Richmond into the East End through White Oak near the airport but not into the airport. It would then continue to Broad Street and loop across Eastern Henrico County, according to Rose Pace. Earlier this summer GRTC relocated a bus stop on the route 7 at no additional cost into Richmond International Airport with the airport’s permission so now people can ride the bus every 30 minutes, seven days a week up to the front door of Richmond International Airport.
The 91 primarily operates on Laburnum. It connects White Oak Village in the East End and Willow Lawn in the West End. That’s the same routing it’s had for some time. But Rose Pace said there is now night and weekend service.
“Once the Pulse opened the 19 changed. It was able to operate 30 minute frequency service all day Monday through Friday because the Pulse was on and it was able to provide that convenient and faster connection at Willow Lawn, still going to Pemberton," Rose Pace said. "Sunday, we started the expansion on the 19, which goes farther than it ever has before all the way out into western Henrico County, past Short Pump Town Center, past West Broad Village to West Broad Market Place hitting up many of these destinations along West Broad Street to about 1,000 feet from the Goochland County line.”
All three routes cost $1.50 per ride, which is a change from the 19′s previous $2 fare.
The buses will operate every day and for longer hours with more frequent stops.
"The preliminary information we have is specifically on route 19 is showing a significant increase in ridership," Rose Pace said.
According to GRTC, before June 24, the 19 bus route saw an average of 207 riders per week. On Sunday, the first day the route was extended into Short Pump and the hours increased, that number jumped to 235. On day two, it jumped even higher, to 538.
The changes are the result of $1.2 million in additional funding that Henrico budgeted this year.