GRTC Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Pulse

On Monday, June 24, GRTC celebrates the one-year anniversary of the GRTC Pulse bus rapid transit service. To thank Pulse riders for an exceptional first year, GRTC staff will surprise customers at Pulse stations during the day with commuter goodie bags and t-shirts.

The Pulse, which is now GRTC’s busiest bus route, carries an average of nearly 7,000 riders every weekday, double the service’s initial goal of 3,500. This is a remarkable result for a new mode of service only one year into operation.

GRTC Interim Chief Executive Officer Sheryl Adams says, “We are proud of the Pulse’s overwhelming success and appreciative of our partners and the community supporting us during the launch year.”

Pulse Points:

  • Total Number of Passengers Since Opening Day: more than 1.9 million (data as of 6/18/19)
  • Busiest Pulse Station: Willow Lawn
  • Busiest Time of Service: 3-6PM
  • Busiest Day of Service: Wednesdays
  • Busiest Date of Service Since Opening: Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Busiest Week of Service Since Opening: Launch Week 2018 (FREE rides) June 24-30
  • Average Pulse Speed: 12mph
  • Average Time from End-To-End: 35 minutes (westbound); 37 minutes (eastbound)
  • Number of Buses in Fleet: 13
  • Number of Stops on Route: 14
  • Length of Route: 7.6 miles

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation - DRPT and Virginia Department of Transportation - VDOT), the City of Richmond and Henrico County, GRTC and the Project Team launched the GRTC Pulse service on Sunday, June 24, 2018.  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. GRTC Pulse is jointly sponsored by Bon Secours Richmond Health System and VCU Health System. The Pulse links to many exciting destinations, businesses, services and restaurants.

In addition to the Pulse anniversary, most of GRTC’s bus network changes also occurred a year ago, with additional enhancements in Henrico County in September 2018. GRTC’s redesigned bus routes are built on a frequency model, which prioritizes more frequent routes.  These routes offer attractive service every 15 minutes at stops in more densely populated areas. Many routes also connect with the Pulse. New ridership data released this week shows GRTC continues to significantly increase its ridership by 18%, bucking the national trend of transit ridership decline. This increase is also a notable result of the paid service agreement with Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU riders accounted for 80,000-100,000 trips per month during the Spring semester.  

GRTC continues its momentum forward with more service improvements in August 2019. More service hours will be added to several routes serving Southside and a new route will operate in Church Hill connecting communities with the Market @ 25th.