South side, east end residents want more GRTC routes

Riders want more routes from GRTC

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The majority of Richmond City Council is not in favor of putting up $1 million to expand GRTC routes to low income areas of the city.

The bus system expansion Mayor Levar Stoney proposed isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents. To some, it’s a waiting game.

“I’m stuck,” one rider said.

People living on Richmond’s east end and south side say the pulse system removed stops on their commute, and while they may still be able to get to their destinations, it’s a hassle to do so.

“Now you gotta catch two to three buses to get to a destination that it used to take one bus to get to,” Mckennie Brooks said.

That’s why Stoney set aside $1 million in his budget to make a new route providing later and additional days of service.

But frequent users of the system say it isn’t just a matter of more stops. The buses also run at inconvenient times.

Brooks said the last Route 86 bus, for example, drops riders off at 7 p.m.

“Anybody who works after 6 o’clock,” he said, “they’re out of luck.”

GRTC is aware of these concerns. Representatives said the city sacrificed stops for faster service as a trade off.

But commuters say what’s faster on one end is a hike on the other.

“You got a stop here and another stop is a mile down the road," Matony Brooks said. "That’s a long walk for someone that may have a child with them or just getting off work.”

The City Council’s next work session is Monday and riders want their 2 cents out there.

The decision is not final, although the preliminary consensus cuts funding that would expand GRTC to low income areas.

A final vote could come down May 13.

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