Service time changes for 300 GRTC bus stops begin on Monday

Published: Dec. 19, 2021 at 6:51 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 12:04 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Beginning Monday GRTC will be piloting a new on-demand service that will take riders between bus stops.

This will help GRTC keep its ridership as the transit company implements modified route schedules on Dec. 20, when service will temporarily end at 11 p.m. and not start again until 6 a.m. due to labor shortages.

“What that means for a handful of routes that we needed to pull resources from and allocate elsewhere, is that there might not be service that doesn’t start until 6 a.m. in the morning on certain routes or needs to end a little early at 11 p.m.,” Carrie Rose Pace with GRTC, said.

Pace says GRTC is doing great as they continue to recruit new bus drivers but are not yet back to where they were pre-pandemic. She says as the workforce continues to grow, bus routes will slowly be changed back to those original times of service.

“The last check that I saw it was just under 250 full-time bus operators and then we have an additional part-time around 20,” Pace said.

In the meantime, a new program is rolling out on Monday where riders can request one ride per day from one bus stop to another.

The on-demand riding services runs Monday through Friday from 5-6 a.m. and from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Uber functionality will be phased into the service. The pilot program is expected to end by spring 2022.

To utilize the service, GRTC says to do either of the following:

  • GRTC/UZURV/Uber Phone Help: Call 804-358-4782 for help requesting a ride over the phone with Uber, UZURV, or a GRTC small vehicle. This is a slower option with longer waits for pick-up. Trips should be requested approximately 30 minutes before needing to ride. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) are available upon request. (Uber functionality will be phased into service during Winter).
  • Uber App: Download Uber’s mobile app and request a ride from a bus stop to the destination bus stop. This is the fastest and easiest option. When requesting a ride, make sure your pick-up bus stop is correct. (Uber functionality will be phased into service during Winter).

“So if you call GRTC during the early mornings so before6 a.m. or after 11 p.m. and you need to get an on-demand ride because our bus is not scheduled temporarily then we’ll help you get a ride from your bus stop where you’re being picked up to your destination bus stop,” Pace said.

Those rides will continue to remain free for those traveling from one stop to another.

The on-demand service will work for all bus stops, not just the ones impacted by the service change. As a reminder, the federal mask order is still in effect until March 18, 2022.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.