As the eastern terminus of the GRTC Pulse bus route for both the City of Richmond and Henrico County, the Orleans Street station offers scenic views of the James River in addition to several restaurants and businesses.
PARKING: There is free on-street parking available on Orleans St. and Old Main St. near the Pulse station. Please do not park in the BrownGreer deck (closed to the public), nor in the lots reserved for Rocketts Landing patrons and residents.
As European settlement in Richmond developed in the early 18th century, the first port of Richmond was established near this GRTC Pulse station, at the farthest point on the James River that ships could sail upstream before having to stop at the fall line. As a result, industries related to ship construction and repairs and the transport of passengers and cargo were first based in this area. Around 1730, Captain Robert Rockett established a ferry service nearby that connected the north and south sides of the James River. Prior to the construction of Mayo’s Toll Bridge in 1788, Rockett’s ferry enabled southside farmers to get their tobacco across the river to northside processing centers for export to Europe. Today the deeper draft of large ships has required Richmond’s shipping industry to move further downstream to the Port of Richmond. Rocketts Landing is now a mixed-use development of residences, offices, shops and restaurants. Several rowing clubs operate nearby, and the area hosts a number of community events, including the Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival, an annual competition featuring 20-person teams paddling dragon-headed 40-foot-long canoes. A monument at the center of Rocketts Way and Old Main Street presents an in-depth history of the area. (0.1 mile.)