Pursuit of a permanent transfer center continues as GRTC works with project partners, the City of Richmond, and other downtown stakeholders to navigate the complexities of site selection for a permanent downtown Richmond transportation hub.
Meanwhile, the logistics of the City hosting two major bicycle events, 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championship and the 2015 UCI World Road Cycling Championship, present challenges to maintain transit operations during the events while continuing to seek a permanent transfer center location.
In response to these challenges, GRTC has initiated a plan to develop a Temporary Transfer Plaza that will operate for two to three years beginning in April 2014. Though temporary in nature, the Temporary Transfer Plaza will:
The Plaza Diagram has been updated to show the new route numbers, 60-62-68 and 61-63, that replaced route 62-63. These routes will still serve Bay C.
The Temporary Transfer Plaza began operation on April 20, 2014.
Click on a FAQ below to reveal the answer:
Routes that serve the Temporary Transfer Plaza had changes in their downtown routing. Some were minor, but some routes included major changes. Click here to download a set of maps showing the routing changes.
Routes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 were split. This means that they no longer go from one side of the City to another. They turned into two routes each, which both terminate at the Temporary Transfer Plaza.
Other routes were changed to allow them to get to and from the Temporary Transfer Plaza. New areas of downtown were added to some routes. Click here to view maps of the changes.
Route schedules were changed slightly to accommodate the new routing. All efforts were made to keep the same level of service on all routes. Some routes may have more or fewer trips per day than before.
Express routes do not serve the Temporary Transfer Plaza. Express routes 26x, 27x, 28x, and 29x experienced minor routing changes – they leave downtown via Main Street to 7th Street, instead of Main Street to 9th Street. This means if you used to catch the bus on 9th Street, you will need to use 7th Street instead.
Express routes coming from the South (64x, 66, 67x, 81x, 82x, 95x) did not change. They do not serve the Temporary Transfer Plaza.
It is located along 9th Street between Marshall and Leigh Streets in downtown Richmond. It also goes around the corner along Leigh Street between 9th and 10th Streets.
You can download the Plaza diagram here (effective January 25, 2015).
The location was chosen for several reasons:
The Temporary Transfer Plaza has 13 curbside Bus Bays (bus stops) along the sidewalk. Each Bay is shared by 1 to 3 bus routes. For example, Routes 37 and Route 22 share Bay A, Route 32 uses Bay B, Routes 60-62-68 and 61-63 share Bay C, and so forth. Each route will pull into the same Bay every time. Click to see a diagram of the Bays here (effective January 25, 2015).
Signs and kiosks are on-site to identify each Bay, bus schedule information, maps, and arrival times.
There will be an increase in bus traffic in the immediate area. It is inevitable anywhere a transfer plaza would be located. Bus routes have been altered to allow buses to get to and from the Temporary Transfer Plaza in different directions. Not all buses come from the same direction. This helps even out the increased traffic.
The City of Richmond implemented some changes to the local streets, including converting Marshall Street and 10th Street to two-way traffic in the immediate area, repaving the roads, and making other small changes to help traffic flow better.
A traffic impact study was conducted and concludes that the area will be able to accommodate the increase in bus traffic with no major impacts.
Ongoing maintenance and security are key to the success of any transfer plaza. There will be ten trash cans located along the Plaza and will be continuously emptied by crews so the area always has a maintained, clean appearance. GRTC and City of Richmond Police are discussing increased patrols and visible presence in the location of City Hall and the Plaza. Additionally, good nighttime lighting already exists in the Plaza area, which will aid in maintaining security. Both of these components will encourage safe use of the Plaza.
The Temporary Transfer Plaza will allow GRTC to improve on-time performance and provide a central location to transfer. It will also provide enhanced amenities to aid in way-finding for customers. Finally, it will minimize the disturbance of bus traffic during events that occur along Broad Street, for example the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championship and the 2015 UCI World Road Cycling Championship.
It is temporary because GRTC still plans to build a permanent transfer center when a suitable location is secured.
Sunday, April 20, 2014.
The Temporary Transfer Plaza is intended to be in operation for two to three years.
There are signs at each Temporary Transfer Plaza Bay showing where each bus route will stop.
There are many ways to figure out where you can catch your bus:
Outside of the downtown area, no routes will be changing.
Depending on your final destination you may need to transfer where you did not have to previously. For example, if you currently ride Route 2 from Church Hill to the West End, you will now need to transfer at the Temporary Transfer Plaza because the route is being split and will no longer go all the way through downtown.
Some downtown routing changed and may no longer stop directly in front of your destination. Depending on the situation, you may need to walk further than you currently do. Some people will need to walk less than they currently do, depending on the changes.
Yes. Customers are able to transfer wherever it is convenient to do so.
For example, customers who are transferring from Route 63 to Route 6 (going west) may transfer at the Temporary Transfer Plaza, or they may transfer along Main Street, where the routes overlap.
Buses wait a few minutes after pulling into their Bays (depending on the Individual Route Schedule).
The capital costs of the project are being paid for by funds which will not increase costs for riders or residents.
The bus operating costs will be paid for within GRTC’s regular operating budget.
If necessary, there may be service changes once there has been an opportunity to see how the new routing and schedules are working.
Unrelated changes in routes or schedules happen occasionally as a normal course of business for GRTC and will continue to occur once the Temporary Transfer Plaza is in effect.
Yes. Effective August 24, 2014, night line-ups will serve the Temporary Transfer Plaza nightly at 11:30pm, 12:00am and 12:30am. This is an opportunity to synchronize service to allow customers to make late evening connections when fewer buses are running. Many routes will be part of the night line-ups. Check the Individual Route Schedules for details.
The fare to ride the bus is $1.50. You can get a Transfer Card for 25 cents ($0.25), which allows you to transfer to another bus to complete your journey.
When you get on your first bus, let the bus operator know that you will need a transfer. Then pay for it (25 cents), and the operator will give you a transfer card to show to the operator on the next bus that you are transferring to. For a video on transferring, click here.
You can transfer once using your Transfer Card. No further transfers are allowed after this and you must pay a regular fare for your next bus ride.
Remember, Transfer Cards are only valid for 90 minutes after you receive them. After that you need to pay the regular fare to ride the bus.
GRTC is currently working through the site selection process for a permanent transfer center. Pending site availability and funding resources, site selection is expected to occur within the next year.
Telephone: Steve McNally, Construction Manager, at 804-358-3871
GRTC Transit System
301 East Belt Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23224