Richmond Regional Microtransit Project

Background Information 

The creation of the Central Virginia Transportation Authority (CVTA) by the 2020 General Assembly established new funds for priority transportation investments in the Richmond Region. The two main sources of revenue are regional sales and use tax (0.7%) and wholesale gas and diesel tax (7.6 cents and 7.7 cents). The CVTA funds are allocated in three ways – 15% to GRTC, 50% to each participating locality proportionally, and 35% for regional projects. GRTC is required to develop a Regional Public Transportation Plan that identifies how GRTC plans to spend the 15% allocation. A micro-transit study was identified as a regional priority during the development of the FY2022 plan. The microtransit study identified recommendations for a pilot program that launched in fall of 2023 - GRTC's LINK Microtransit

What is Microtransit?

Microtransit is on-demand, curb-to-curb public transportation that provides transit service in areas that might not support traditional fixed route bus demand. 

riders waiting at a transit stop with greenery

Microtransit Pilot Program Overview 

The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), partnered with consultant Michael Baker International, exploring the demand, need, potential, and feasibility for microtransit services in the Greater Richmond Region. The Greater Richmond Region includes the jurisdictions of Ashland, Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, and the City of Richmond. 

Phase 1 Study (Fall 2021 - Summer 2022)

Goals and objectives:

  1. Analyzed the landscape of existing microtransit demand and service provision in the region.
  2. Projected and analyzed future microtransit demand in the region.
  3. Explored possible microtransit approaches and strategies to address current and future mobility demands.
  4. Engaged all jurisdictions in the Richmond region through thoughtful conversations about the current and future mobility needs of residents, visitors, employers, and employees with a focus on equity.
  5. Improved capacity, understanding, and coordination between current and future microtransit providers, stakeholders, and relevant decision-makers.

During Phase 1, five zones were identified as ready for implementation for Fall 2023.  The zones were categorized into short-term readiness years.  The years are defined as 0-1 year; 1-3 years; 3-5 years; and 5+ years.  The following zones were identified for 0-1 year; 1-3 years; 3-5 years; and 5+ years:

To meet the goals and objectives of the Richmond Region Microtransit Pilot, GRTC and Michael Baker conducted public outreach, including surveys, public meetings, presentations, and stakeholder meetings/focus groups. The PDF versions of these PowerPoint presentations are available for download.  Please click the links below to view the documents and memos. 

Phase 2 Study (Winter 2022)
During phase 2, the microtransit team continued to identify and refine zones for initial testing and later expansion. This included projecting hours, service requirements, and operator numbers, and led directly into phase 3, the ramp up and launch of LINK, GRTC's microtransit service. 

Phase 3 (Pilot Phase): LINK Microtransit Launch

In Phase 3, GRTC staff finalized boundaries for the Azalea Zone, conducted operator training and procured and wrapped new LINK specific vehicles. The Azalea Zone entered into in-zone testing on November 6th and formally launched on November 13th. Phase 3 continues with four additional zones in development and the Azalea Zone in service, with plans on track to launch the remainder of the proposed pilot zones by the end of FY24. 

Explore the pilot zones with this interactive map, and visit to learn more about existing GRTC Microtransit service.