Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Richmond's GRTC somehow makes best darkhorse transit system list

from Grist.com:

Richmond, Va. Pop. 202,002
"The Capital of the South is served by a century-old non-profit that runs bike-rack-equipped buses, vans, and a carpooling and ride-matching service. Honored last year by the American Public Transportation Association for its deep commitment to the community, the Greater Richmond Transit Company has taken an active role in educating residents about the joys of carless living, with initiatives including a Lunch Time Express shuttle that makes downtown stops and even a transit TV show. A plan known as Mission 2015 envisions rapid transit and a downtown transfer center—big plans for a system dubbed by CEO John Lewis as “the little engine that could."


Well I can't knock GRTC's accomplishments. When you're severely underfunded, prohibited from entering certain parts of town, and hated by the majority of residents, you really have to make lemonade from lemons. And they did just that, by winning APTA's "Number 1 Transit System" award.

That being said, here's what I would do to improve GRTC:

-Install route maps at stops!
-Fare boxes that give change, what a revolution that would start!
-How about some protection from the elements at stops? A simple canopy and plexiglass wall would do, and they could sell ad space on the walls.
-Move forward with the downtown transfer center. It makes sense for a lot of reasons.
-Extend service to the suburbs
-Nix the bus rapid transit idea. It won't work in the city core!
-Add electric rail transit per the Downtown Master Plan!!!

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