GRTC to hold meetings on bus route changes

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 8/4/2017, 7:47 a.m.
How will GRTC’s overhaul of its bus routes and bus stops affect you? Regular riders and potential transit users can ...

How will GRTC’s overhaul of its bus routes and bus stops affect you?

Regular riders and potential transit users can find out at a series of information meetings that kick off Saturday, Aug. 5. The meetings will spell out the changes to be put in place when the new Pulse Bus Rapid Transit System begins operating.

The first meeting will take place noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library, 101 E. Franklin St. in Downtown.

Additional public information meetings are scheduled for:

• Tuesday, Aug. 8, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Powhatan Community Center, 5051 Northampton St. in Fulton.

• Wednesday, Aug. 9, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Southside Community Services Center, 4100 Hull Street Road in Southside Plaza.

• Thursday, Aug. 10, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 2300 W. Broad St.

• Friday, Aug. 11, 12:30 to 2 p.m., Sarah Garland Jones Center, 1500 N. 28th St. in Church Hill.

Key changes include more direct service, with fewer buses stopping at the Downtown transfer station near City Hall; increased service to the McGuire VA Medical Center; direct service to Carytown from South Side; and connections between regular routes and the Pulse stations.

Pulse, which is to run from Rocketts Landing to the Shops at Willow Lawn, will run every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes at other times.

GRTC also is promising faster service on six other routes, starting every 15 minutes during most weekday hours and on Saturdays. Other routes will have service start every 30 minutes or every 60 minutes.

GRTC also will use other means for spreading the word, including information online and new outreach employees.

A map showing the revamped routes and a list of how often routes will run when the changes are made can be found on the GRTC website, www.RideGRTC.com. To find the information, click on “Stats and Reports” on the first page, then go to “Plans and Projects” to find the page on “Your New GRTC Transit System.”

GRTC also plans to employ 18 outreach ambassadors to ride buses and talk with riders, to meet with riders in neighborhoods and at civic association meetings and to be available at the transfer station to answer questions, according to GRTC spokeswoman Carrie Rose Pace.

She said GRTC also plans to employ three to six travel buddies who will accompany riders to help them understand specific changes to their primary bus routes.

Ms. Pace said once the service starts, riders will be able to call or email GRTC customer service, (804) 358-4782 or webcustomerservice@ridegrtc.com, to request the service.

“We look forward to personal, direct education and engagement with riders and residents,” she said.