Final Recommended Network
The Final Network was developed by our study team, including City staff, GRTC and our consulting transit experts (Jarrett Walker + Associates and Michael Baker International). The network is based on the policy direction from the public input received in the planning process so far, which is detailed in the Final Report (PDF) and summarized in blog posts (Phase 1,
and Phase 3). At the end of our process, we reviewed all comments and made a few changes (detailed
While the existing transit system has no truly frequent routes, the new network includes six, five new frequent routes plus the Pulse BRT. Four new frequent routes provide service through downtown, reducing the need for transfers. Routes 1, 2 and 3 all connect north/south, while Route 4 and the Pulse BRT provide east/west connections. A fifth high frequency route (Route 8) connects Fulton Bottom and Fulton Hill to the Pulse BRT at Orleans Station. The daytime network will run from 5am to 7pm weekdays and Saturdays.
An Orbital Line, Route 10 connects southside to the west end to the northside, without going through downtown. This makes key connections from residential areas north and south to job centers in the west end much easier for many people. Seamless BRT Connections: All high frequency routes make seamless connections to the Pulse BRT at key downtown stations. Key connections to BRT outside downtown include:
- Route 8a/b for Fulton at Orleans Street
- Route 5 for Church Hill at 24th Street
- Route 41 for Oakwood and Church Hill at 24th Street
- Route 9 for VUU and the Hermitage Corridor at the VCU/VUU station
- Route 10 to/from southside and northside at Robinson Street and Cleveland Street
- Routes 61 and 62 to Patterson and Grove Avenues at Robinson Street and Willow Lawn.
Evenings and Sunday Network
The evening and Sunday map applies to weekdays after 7pm and Sundays. At night and on Sundays, when the frequencies of all routes are lower, transfers made at random between a pair of routes will take longer. For this reason, the network will include a timed-transfer downtown, in which all buses arrive downtown at the same time, and sit together for a few minutes so that passengers can transfer among any two routes.
Route 7, though not shown on the map, would run from 7am to 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays but only within the City of Richmond. Routes 14, 15, 61, 62 and 65, though not shown, would run on Sundays from 7am to 7pm. See the Route Frequency and Spans of Service Table below for more detail on individual route frequency and spans.
Frequency and Span of Service
The table below provide detail on the frequency of service (how often it comes each hour) and the span of service (when the service runs during the day) for weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Coverage and Access
The number of people with access to frequent transit would more than double with the Recommended Network compared to the Existing Network plus Pulse BRT. Twenty-five percent more jobs would be accessible by frequent transit with the Recommended Network compared to the Existing Network plus Pulse BRT. The new network maintains access to nearly all residents and to nearly all jobs that currently have access to transit. It dramatically increases the number of residents and employees who have access to frequent transit.
Changes since the Draft Plan
While most of the feedback we received was supportive, some residents voiced concerns about the draft proposed network.
- Residents in Richmond's East End wanted the proposed Route 5 to provide service much closer to some key destinations, even if that means less frequent service. We have created a draft map of the planned revisions of East End routes (see below) which will reduce walking distances to destinations such as Armstrong High School and Oakwood. However, bus routes with many turns (such as the more coverage-oriented Route 5 proposed below) take longer to complete. This makes them both slower for riders and more expensive to run. With a limited budget, this draft revised Route 5 would only be able to run every 30 minutes during the day, rather than every 15 minutes. However, communities which value shorter walks over shorter waits may decide that this trade-off is worthwhile.
We've also heard concerns from 64x riders about the proposed reduction in daily trips and our team is closely studying options for increasing the number of daily trips. Commuter express routes, such as the 64x, are more costly to operate than your typical local route. Because their primary service is one-way, the driver makes the return trip with a mostly empty bus, but is still paid the same for that time. Also, because commuter express routes only run at peak hours, these routes require more dead-head trips (trips to and from the garage) which increases overall costs.
We are also studying a slight re-routing of Route 10 from the Expressway to Robinson Street to address issues with difficult turns through Carytown. Further, we have had requests for weekend service for Route 70, which provides workforce access to Phillip Morris. Today, workers who take weekend shifts must walk 0.7 mile from the nearest current bus stop on Jeff Davis.
The Recommended Network has been will delivered to GRTC. GRTC will now take the network through its own internal and external processes, before implementing it in 2017 or 2018. The official comment period on the draft plan is now closed but we welcome your questions and thoughts – you can continue to connect with us on our Contact Us page, our Facebook page and via Twitter (@RichmondTNP). GRTC is hosting 14 meetings around the City between March 8-30th to increase awareness of the proposed network changes.