GRTC looking to expand services through northern Henrico

The transit system has identified potential corridors and this study will evaluate their options.
GRTC commissioned a $700,000 study last month of state, local, and federal funds to evaluate the potential routes.
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:43 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - GRTC Transit System is considering its next big expansion of a second bus rapid transit route.

The transit system has identified potential corridors and this study will evaluate the options.

GRTC commissioned a $700,000 study last month of state, local, and federal funds to evaluate the potential routes.

No plans have been finalized just yet, but the new line would run between Virginia Center Commons in Henrico, south through Richmond into Midlothian.

The new line would also offer fast North-South transit options for the first time.

GRTC Chief Development Officer Adrienne Torres says as the Richmond Region continues to grow, so does the need for transportation.

“Our local routes have increased even from our pre-pandemic levels. Our Pulse Route itself has not gone back to what it was pre-pandemic, but it’s higher than it was even planned,” Torres said.

The new line would follow Chamberlayne Avenue and Route 1, to Virginia Center Commons, as well as Richmond Highway, Hull Street and Midlothian Turnpike. This project will take time.

Torres says late 2028 is the earliest any of these services could begin.

Meanwhile, GRTC will be rolling out a three-year pilot program of micro-transit for rural and suburban areas next fall.

Torres says it will be similar to Uber or Lyft and those who use the service will potentially ride in vans.

“What this does is it offers service to areas that traditional fixed-route vehicle does not work, today the demand not be there, or the flexibility in the actual streets, so this gives the opportunity to offer and pilot this kind of different mode in these other areas,” she said.

The study process will include engagement of the public and stakeholders, identification of a purpose and need, definition of corridors, analysis of corridors, and a final summary report.

Torres says they’re still determining what public engagement will look like but says we could expect to see surveys released regarding these potential plans within the upcoming weeks.