For Immediate Release
April 8, 2020
For more information, contact:
CARRIE ROSE PACE – (804) 516-4148 – firstname.lastname@example.org
GRTC Redistributes Buses During COVID-19
Express routes reduced, allowing busy local routes to get more vehicles in service.
RICHMOND, Va. (April 8, 2020) – To better implement physical distancing guidelines on-board buses during the COVID-19 crisis, buses from express routes with low passenger counts are being re-deployed on high ridership routes with passenger counts averaging greater than 20 people per bus. Today most express route customers were transported in GRTC vans instead of buses, freeing these buses to jump onto local routes.
GRTC ridership on core local routes continues to be very high with passenger loads frequently exceeding 20 or 30 passengers per bus. Using the buses removed from express service operations, today GRTC began deploying additional buses on the 1A, 2A/B/C, 3B/C, and Pulse. Passengers may be asked to board a bus tailing the normal bus in service to provide better social distancing on-board.
GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm explains, “This allows us to continue providing essential transit service without leaving passengers stranded at bus stops and enables us to better-space passengers physically apart while riding. Even though we are placing more local buses in service, we stress that customers should only ride for essential needs like getting to jobs, food or critical resources.”
Passengers are asked to leave a seat empty beside them and observe social distancing as much as possible while riding. Customers are also encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and wear face masks when in public. GRTC previously suspended fare collection March 19th and implemented rear door boarding, except for passengers needing Operator assistance at the front door.
GRTC ridership on Express Routes has decreased dramatically during COVID-19 while many downtown employees are able to telework, but there are still passengers needing express service. To ensure service for these customers continues, GRTC is still operating modified express trips. GRTC is assessing additional changes to go into effect April 19, 2020.
GRTC is a public service corporation providing mobility services in the Greater Richmond area. GRTC’s current operational budget of $53.9M primarily funds daily mobility operations and vehicle maintenance. GRTC provides more than 9.25 million trips annually.Download