Richmond Transit to Add Bus Stop Benches, Shelters

The region’s transit agency plans to install new benches and shelters at as many as 75 percent of bus stops systemwide.

1 minute read

October 19, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Pulse bus rapid transit station with blue bus pulled in in Richmond, Virginia

Quidster4040 / Pulse station

The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) has released a plan to add benches and shelters to some of its 1,609 bus stops, only 21 percent of which currently have a bench. As Wyatt Gordon writes in Greater Greater Washington, “According to the newly passed Essential Infrastructure Plan, starting next summer GRTC will begin installing 160 shelters and 225 benches over the next five years.”

Gordon notes that the agency would only reach 75 percent coverage with benches or shelters in their “aspirational” scenario, while the “attainable” plan would provide infrastructure at 50 percent of the system’s stops. “One of the biggest barriers to building out benches and shelters across the region was lifted earlier this year when the Virginia Department of Transportation finally approved GRTC’s proposed shelter style after an inexplicable two year plus delay.”

The project was prompted by the superior infrastructure provided along the Pulse bus rapid transit line, which led transit riders to demand similar improvements across the entire system—as Gordon puts it, “raised the bar on what many of the region’s residents consider acceptable stop infrastructure.”

Like other systems seeking to boost lagging ridership and ease the financial burden for its riders, the GRTC system went fare-free in 2020 and has extended free fares through June 2025.

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