GRTC Reports 17% Ridership Increase During Past Year

New ridership data released today shows GRTC continues to significantly increase its ridership, bucking the national trend of transit ridership decline. When comparing GRTC’s ridership on the old network at this time last year to now on the new network, GRTC’s ridership increased by 17% or more than a million riders across local and express fixed routes.

GRTC Interim Chief Executive Officer Charlie Mitchell says, “We are proud to prove that a transit system, in partnership with localities and funding partners, can modernize and reverse ridership decline and better meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

Today’s data, which provides ridership information through April 2019, shows GRTC is countering the national trend of transit ridership decline and is a model of success. The Pulse, which is GRTC’s busiest bus route, now carries an average of more than 7,000 riders every weekday, double the service’s goals. This is a remarkable result for a new mode of service that just debuted June 24, 2018.

In addition to providing more attractive, reliable service across the network serving primarily the City of Richmond and Henrico County, GRTC is in pilot year, paid service agreements with Virginia Commonwealth University and Richmond Public Schools. VCU ridership surpassed the 100,000 monthly riders mark in April, with half of those trips occurring on the Pulse.

It is no surprise that some of the most popular routes in GRTC’s new network are the most frequent routes operating every 15 minutes, such as the 1A/B/C, 2A/B/C and 5 serving major cooridors like Main, Cary, Chamberlayne, Hull and Midlothian. GRTC’s redesigned bus routes are built on a frequency model, prioritizing more frequent routes offering attractive service every 15 minutes with shorter waits between buses at stops in more densely populated areas. Henrico County’s routes have also shown ridership increases year-over-year, including because of route extensions on West Broad Street and service hour expansions to nights and weekends on three major Henrico corridors (Nine Mile, West Broad and Laburnum).

Additionally, GRTC’s seasonal express service to Kings Dominion from the City of Richmond and the Town of Ashland has also seen a tremendous increase in ridership year-over-year. In this second Spring with express service, ridership increased 58% from 2,832 riders last April to 4,471 riders this April.

GRTC continues its momentum forward, and we welcome riders to continue to connect with us about how we can further respond to the needs of the communities we serve. Public meetings are scheduled in early June to gather feedback on proposed service updates for August 2019, including East End and Southside service enhancements funded by the City of Richmond.