Accessibility,  Quality of Life Benefits of Transportation,  Virginia

The Pulse Bus Rapid Transit – Richmond, VA

The Pulse, Richmond, Virginia’s new Bus Rapid Transit system, connects residents, communities and local businesses to dramatically improve the overall quality of life. 

Working directly with the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation led the initial stages of the project, securing a $25 million USDOT TIGER grant and committing another $32 million in state resources to the project. The Virginia Department of Transportation delivered a fast 18-month design-build construction effort to transform US 250 through the heart of Richmond’s congested urban core into a multimodal corridor. The successful completion of this project is a testament to the power of partnership and collaboration between local, regional, state, and federal agencies.

The Pulse provides two bus-only lanes, 26 state-of-the-art real-time connected stations, environmentally-friendly transit vehicles and a priority traffic signaling system to ensure a true bus rapid transit – all built within the existing right-of-way. 

The Pulse continues to spike economic development along its entire 7.6-mile corridor, dramatically reducing crashes and expanding transit accessibility. Local businesses, initially skeptical and concerned about construction impacts, today sing the praises of the many new customers The Pulse brings to their doors.

The Pulse is a national model of how to reverse declining public transportation ridership trends and was recently recognized with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s (ITDP) Bronze Standard award for being a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services that replace less competitive local services. Ridership on The Pulse has doubled initial estimates, averaging 7,000 people every weekday.  Since its June 2018 launch, overall transit ridership at GRTC has increased 18 percent, driven by a strategic route redesign that truly makes The Pulse the heartbeat of Richmond.

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