Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pulse?
GRTC Pulse is a modern, high quality, high capacity rapid transit system that serves a 7.6-mile route along Broad Street and Main Street, from Rocketts Landing in the City of Richmond to Willow Lawn in Henrico County. The Pulse links to many exciting destinations, businesses, services and restaurants. Service began Sunday, June 24, 2018. The Pulse earned a Bronze Standard BRT rating by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). 
Hours of Operation with Frequencies:

  • Mondays – Fridays:
    • 5AM – 6AM: every 15 minutes
    • 6AM-7PM: every 10 minutes
    • 7PM-11:30PM: every 15 minutes
    • 11:30PM-1AM: every 30 minutes
  • Saturdays & Sundays:
    • 6AM –11:30PM: every 15 minutes
    • 11:30PM-1AM: every 30 minutes

How much is the fare to ride the Pulse?
All GRTC bus service is fare free.

How can bikes connect to/from the Pulse?
There are three easy ways to connect between the Pulse and a bike:

  • Load your own bike onto the front of the Pulse - there's space for three bikes.
  • Park your bike at a Pulse station.
  • Borrow one of the RVA Bike Share bikes conveniently located near several Pulse stations.

Where can I park?
There are hundreds of on-street parking choices along the route, including thousands of side-street parking spaces. Parking lots and decks also provide hourly or daily parking options.  

What if I have an emergency at a Pulse platform?
If you require emergency assistance at a station, there is a 911 emergency call box. Push the red emergency button to connect with a 911 operator. If you see something suspicious, say something! If you do not have an emergency, please DO NOT push the 911 button! False calls are a Class 1 misdemeanor ( For general assistance with riding GRTC, please use a phone to call GRTC’s Customer Service Center at 804-358-GRTC. 

How does the Pulse affect general traffic?
The GRTC Pulse corridor is designed to minimize the traffic impacts to the corridor.

In the east and west ends (blue and red on the map), the bus travels in general traffic lanes with other motor vehicles. Buses generally stay in the farthest right travel lane. This operation is referred to as mixed flow or mixed traffic operations.

Between Thompson Street and Foushee Street (green on the map), the buses travel in dedicated lanes in the median. Running the bus in the center of the roadway helps minimize conflicts (i.e., reduces crash rates) with vehicles turning to/from side streets and private entrances, in addition to allowing parallel parking in this dense part of Broad Street.  Dedicated lanes are also viewed as a traffic calming tool, allowing vehicles to adhere to the speed limit.  

In the downtown section of the corridor, from 4th Street to 14th Street (orange on the map), the Pulse and local buses operate in a dedicated lane along the curb.  This improved bus lane functions like a shoulder-running bus lane and will reduce conflicts between buses, general traffic and pedestrians, increasing safety for all users. 

At appropriate median-running intersections detailed on the map below, general traffic will be allowed to enter the dedicated left turn lanes to turn, which will increase safety by removing turning vehicles from the general traffic flow. Those selected dedicated left-turns are as follows:

Here is a list of the permitted, exclusive vehicular left-turns in the median-running stretch of the Pulse route between Thompson Street and Foushee Street (as shown on the map above):

  • Eastbound left turn at Roseneath Road
  • Westbound left turn at Tilden Street
  • Eastbound and westbound left turns at Sheppard Street
  • Westbound left turn at Boulevard (time-of-day restricted)
  • Eastbound left turn at Terminal Place
  • Westbound left turn at Robinson Street
  • Eastbound left turn at Davis Avenue
  • Eastbound left turn at DMV Drive
  • Eastbound left turn at Allison Street
  • Eastbound and westbound left turns at Hermitage Road/Meadow Street
  • Eastbound left turn at Allen Avenue
  • Eastbound left turn at Bowe Street
  • Westbound left turn at Harrison Street
  • Eastbound and westbound left turns at Belvidere Street
  • Westbound left turn at Monroe Street

Lastly, in the long‐term, the Pulse will help manage traffic congestion by providing a high‐quality, transit service that is competitive with motor vehicles, thereby capturing a higher proportion of commuters and other travelers. This will allow the corridor to incorporate higher densities, provide more housing and jobs, in
addition to more activity that will allow the corridor to transition to a more pedestrian‐friendly corridor, while maintaining acceptable traffic conditions.

What are the some of the expected benefits of the GRTC BRT?
• Expand the range of job opportunities for transit‐ dependent populations by increasing the areas accessible within a reasonable commute time.
• Provide a permanent transit investment in the Broad Street corridor that will encourage economic development and stimulate property values.
• Leverage opportunities for mixed‐use, transit‐oriented development that will revitalize an economically distressed corridor and improve jobs‐housing balance.
• Create additional opportunities to increase system‐wide efficiency for GRTC and further improve service on local bus routes.
• Attract new riders by providing a service with travel times that are competitive with motor vehicles or passenger vehicles.
• Increase bus speeds by approximately 65%.
• Improve pedestrian safety at station areas with improved crosswalks and pedestrian refuge areas at station platforms.  Also add new pedestrian crosswalks in the corridor.
• Improve the reliability of transit operations on Broad Street by providing a dedicated lane for BRT vehicles from Thompson Street to Foushee Street and by improving the dedicated bus lane between 4th Street and 14th Street.
• Reduce travel time for riders on BRT by approximately 33%.

What is the Estimated Project Budget?
• Based on the Design-Build contract, the following is the project budget. This includes a project contingency of 5%.

  • TIGER (FTA/USDOT): $24,900,000
  • City of Richmond: $7,600,000
  • Henrico County: $400,000
  • DRPT/VDOT (Commonwealth of Virginia): $32,016,000
  • Total Contributions: $64,916,000

What are the budgeted Early Completion Milestones in the Design-Build contract?

  • Interim Milestone #1: 9/15/17 $2,000,040.00 (every day beyond 9/15/17 the incentive decreases by $33,334/day)
  • Interim Milestone #2: 10/15/17 $250,000.00 (every day beyond 10/15/17 the incentive decreases by $50,000/day)
  • Early Final Completion: 12/31/17 $1,000,035.00 (every day beyond 12/31/17 the incentive decreases by $22,223/day)

Are there penalties in the Design-Build contract?

  • If the project is not completed by the contractual completion date of June 30, 2018, there are penalties of  $4,450.00 per day.