Temporary Transfer Plaza

Temporary Transfer Plaza Diagram

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:

  • Accommodate 90 buses per peak hour
  • Serve approximately 5,000 to 8,000 riders per day
  • Locate thirteen bus bays curbside along 9th Street and Leigh Street, which will be painted on the surface of the street pavement
  • Be enhanced by installation of benches, trashcans, information kiosks, and bus shelters.

Effective January 25, 2015:

The following routes serve the Temporary Transfer Plaza:

  • 1-2 Monument / Patterson
  • 3-4 Robinson
  • 6 Broad Street
  • 10 Riverview
  • 11 Oliver Hill
  • 16 Grove
  • 21 Brook Azalea
  • 24 Crestwood/Westbrook
  • 32 Ginter Park
  • 34 Highland Park
  • 37 Chamberlayne
  • 41-51 Church Hill
  • 43-44 Whitcomb/Fairfield
  • 45 Jefferson
  • 52-53 Montrose/Darbytown
  • 60-62-68 Hull Street
  • 61-63 Midlothian
  • 70-71 Forest Hill
  • 72-73 Ruffin Rd/Ampthill
  • 74 Oak Grove

The following routes do NOT serve the Transfer Plaza:

  • 7 Seven Pines
  • 18 Henrico Government Center
  • 19 Pemberton
  • 26x Parham Express
  • 27x Glenside Express
  • 28x White Oak Village Express
  • 29x Gaskins Express
  • 56 South Laburnum
  • 64x Stony Point Express
  • 66x Spring Rock Green Express
  • 81x Chesterfield Express
  • 82x Commonwealth 20/Swift Creek Express
  • 91 Laburnum Connector
  • 93 Azalea Connector
  • 95x Petersburg Express
  • 101 Southside Plaza/Belt Blvd Connector

Plaza Service Updates (Effective January 25, 2015):

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.

Trip Tips:

  • In order to get a Transfer Card, you must let the operator know when you board your first bus. Pay for your transfer (25 cents) along with your regular bus fare and the operator will give you a Transfer Card to show to the operator on the next bus you will take. You can transfer only one time using your Transfer Card.  It must be used within 90 minutes after you receive it.
  • You can transfer wherever it is convenient to do so.  You do not have to wait to transfer at the Temporary Transfer Plaza.
  • No Express routes service the Temporary Transfer Plaza.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Temporary Transfer Plaza began operation on April 20, 2014.

Click on a FAQ below to reveal the answer:

Did my route experience changes?

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.

What were some of the major route 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.

  • For example, Route 6 now travels from Willow Lawn to the Temporary Transfer Plaza and back. To get to Montrose Heights from Willow Lawn, customers need to take Route 6 to the Transfer Plaza, and then transfer to the new Route 52-53.

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.

  • For example, Route 10 used to travel eastward on Broad Street to 14th Street before turning around. Now it travels eastward on Broad Street, then turns left on 2nd Street, then right on Leigh Street, and on to the Transfer Plaza.  It turns right on to 10th Street to Broad Street and then returns westbound.

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.

How were Express routes affected?

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.

Where is the Temporary Transfer Plaza located?

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).

Why was this location chosen?

The location was chosen for several reasons:

  • Central downtown location, but not on the busiest streets
  • Near public services (City Hall, Social Services, etc.)
  • Large enough area to have enough Bays to serve all local routes
  • One-way street allows more space for bus traffic
  • Natural center of operations for GRTC routes
What does it look like?

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.

How is traffic affected?

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.

What measures will be taken to ensure safety/security at the Temporary Transfer Plaza?

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.

Why did GRTC open a Temporary Transfer 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.

Why is it temporary?

It is temporary because GRTC still plans to build a permanent transfer center when a suitable location is secured.

When did the Temporary Transfer Plaza open?

Sunday, April 20, 2014.

How long is temporary?

The Temporary Transfer Plaza is intended to be in operation for two to three years.

How do I know where to catch the bus at the Temporary Transfer Plaza?

There are signs at each Temporary Transfer Plaza Bay showing where each bus route will stop.

How do I know where to catch the bus now that the routes have changed downtown?

There are many ways to figure out where you can catch your bus:

  • Check the GRTC website for a new system map and routes.
  • Use the Google Trip Planner to enter in your starting point and destination, and see your transit options.
  • Look for new Individual Route Schedules on the buses when service changes go into effect.
  • Download the GRTC Mobile App if you have a smart phone to get personalized transit information.
  • Text for arrival times if you have a basic cell phone (Text ridegrtc followed by the bus stop ID number listed on the bus stop sign to receive estimated bus arrival times for that stop).
  • Call GRTC’s Customer Service Center at (804) 358-4782 for assistance, Monday – Friday from 6:30am – 7:00pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • Check out GRTC’s YouTube Channel for video tips and information.
Will I still be able to get to my usual destinations?

Outside of the downtown area, no routes will be changing.

Do I have to transfer, or walk further, if my destination is not near the Temporary Transfer Plaza?

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.

Can I transfer somewhere other than the Transfer Plaza?

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.

How long do the buses wait at the Transfer Plaza?

Buses wait a few minutes after pulling into their Bays (depending on the Individual Route Schedule).

How much will the Temporary Transfer Plaza cost taxpayers?

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.

Will there be any further changes after the Temporary Transfer Plaza goes into effect?

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.

Will there still be night line-ups?

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.

How much does it cost to transfer?

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.

How do I transfer?

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.

Is a permanent transfer center still planned?

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.

Who do I contact if I have questions or comments about the Temporary Transfer Plaza?

Email: Transferplaza@ridegrtc.com

Telephone:  Steve McNally, Construction Manager, at 804-358-3871

Transfer Plaza
GRTC Transit System
301 East Belt Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23224