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Here are 4 options being considered for new Richmond-area rapid bus line

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Which way should the next Richmond-area rapid bus service go?

That’s the question being considered by a consultant hired by the Greater Richmond Transit System to examine expanding service into other parts of Richmond and Chesterfield and Henrico counties and developing north-south lines.

Pittsburgh-based engineering firm Michael Baker International Inc. plans to hold public meetings and present a plan to the agency.

The earliest service could start is 2028, said GRTC spokesman Michael Frontiero. The analysis will include the potential environmental impact and an initial design phase for the project.

20220422_MET_GRTC

A person rides the GRTC bus as it makes through downtown on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia.

The project comes four years after GRTC opened the $65 million Pulse line, which travels east and west on 7.6 miles of dedicated bus lanes from Rocketts Landing to Willow Lawn.

Options for the new route include:

  • North from downtown Richmond on Route 1 to Virginia Center Commons.
  • South from downtown Richmond on Route 1 to Brightpoint Community College.
  • Southwest from downtown Richmond on Midlothian Turnpike to Midlothian Village.
  • Southwest from downtown Richmond to Southside Plaza (running parallel with the Midlothian line) to the Commonwealth Center area.

Which route should a new Greater Richmond Transit System bus line take?

Which way should the next Richmond-area rapid bus service go? That’s the question being considered by a consultant the Greater Richmond Transit System has hired to examine expanding service into other parts of Richmond and Chesterfield and Henrico counties and developing north-south lines.

You voted:

The study will focus on routes identified by civic coalitions like the Greater Washington Partnership, a group of organizations and entrepreneurs in the corridor stretching from Richmond to Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. The group in January released a 28-page report that recommended investing in transit corridors to better serve marginalized communities that are dependent on access to public transit.

“What we found is that the Pulse is great, if you’re trying to get around downtown, but a lot of people in the region don’t live downtown,” said John Hillegass, the organization’s director of regional mobility and infrastructure.

The partnership — which includes Capital One, Comcast, Dominion Energy and other health care, education and financial services firms — has previously advocated for transit expansion in the Richmond area, specifically highlighting “clear disparities” by race and income. Hillegass said providing transit to underserved areas will drive social and economic growth in those neighborhoods and beyond.

John Hillegass

Hillegass

Hillegass said that once the study is available, they’ll bring stakeholders to the table and ensure that the expansion of the Pulse system encourages the development of roadway infrastructure, affordable housing and commercial spaces that will benefit the surrounding community.

“This can’t just be a GRTC project, it has to be a regional project,” Hillegass said. “Because it’s not just about providing bus shelters; we also have to think about all the things that surround the roadway and the bus route to make it successful.”

This study is paid for through $711,389 in federal, state and local funding.

A look at key Richmond-area races on the Nov. 8 ballot

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The district, based in Virginia Beach, has had seven different representatives since 2000. The contest could be a bellwether on Nov. 8.

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Hispanic voters could provide the margin in the Northern Virginia contest between Rep. Abigail Spanberger and Republican Yesli Vega. Former President Donald Trump weighs in, endorsing the challenger.

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Henrico’s last bond referendum was in 2016, and Chesterfield's was in 2013.

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Voters in the Beaverdam District will elect a new representative to the Hanover County Board in a special election Tuesday.

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You've seen the ads pop up on Facebook. We analyzed the data on key competitive races.  

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Richmond-area voters will choose members of the House of Representatives. Henrico and Chesterfield will vote on bond referendums and some Chesterfield residents will elect a supervisor.

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The outcomes in Virginia's 2nd, 7th and 10th districts will say much about the extent of the GOP's expected new House majority.

LGerman@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6340

Twitter: @Lyndon_G

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