Five years ago, GRTC launched our flagship Pulse Bus Rapid Transit system, re-imagining transit in the Richmond region, and encouraging the ongoing revitalization of Broad Street. That launch, combined with network redesign, led to a major resurgence in ridership throughout the region. Now, GRTC is looking to upgrade more at-capacity local routes with a second North/South Pulse line. The process is already underway – GRTC and our consultants have been analyzing corridors and reaching out to the public to determine the best way to bring the same connectivity offered by the Pulse to more communities throughout the region.
At this point in the project, we’re focused on determining how a second Pulse line would traverse the city center, and where it would go in Richmond’s southside. The northern section of the alignment will replace GRTC’s busiest existing local bus (Route 1) and travel along Chamberlayne from Azalea Avenue toward downtown. Once it nears downtown, however, we as a community must determine which areas should be prioritized for this initial service. BRT serving VCU/VUU would run along a different alignment than one serving Gilpin Court, for example – and might cross the river on different bridges.
Once across the river, the route will continue to have options – Richmond Highway, Hull Street, and the Midlothian Turnpike all offer different advantages for a potential line. How far an initial route might be built and where extensions could go are also essential considerations for GRTC and our regional partners. This second Pulse line will not be the only additional BRT constructed – but what will be built represents both an amazing new service and a commitment to providing high-quality, 21st-century rapid transit infrastructure for the region.
Determining where to build a rapid transit line is not a task we take lightly – our consultants have created scoring metrics based on access to jobs and housing, the potential for development, and existing and potential pedestrian and bike infrastructure (and more). We also need to hear more from you, which is why our partners at PlanRVA have created this interactive storymap and survey to help guide this project and ensure that the final alignment is chosen by all of us.
This round of public comment is open through Friday, October 6, and there will be additional rounds of public engagement before a specific route is chosen and construction begins.Download