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East End Residents Ask GRTC To Restore Some Bus Service

City Council member Cynthia Newbile, who represents the East End, called asked for Wednesday's meeting so that residents could have their concerns addressed.
City Council member Cynthia Newbile, who represents the East End, called asked for Wednesday's meeting so that residents could voice their concerns about the transit changes. Roberto Roldan/WCVE News

On Wednesday, the Greater Richmond Transit Co. held its first community feedback meeting in Fulton since it reduced the frequency bus routes in the Richmond neighborhood.

In January, the two bus lines serving the East End were cut from every 15 minutes, to every 30. About two dozen residents attended the meeting at the Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton. They said the changes made using public transit more difficult and led to being late to work or missing other connections.

East End resident Jen White told officials the cuts have been particularly taxing during her commute.

“When you go down to 30 minutes, you’re cutting off opportunities to pick up other connections," she said. If you’re trying to get to work in the morning or you’re trying to get home in the afternoon, that’s not really going to work.”

Garland Williams, Director of Planning and Scheduling at GRTC, said the bus routes weren’t being used enough, which is what lead to the cuts. He said GRTC will explore restoring more frequent service during peak hours. 

The public transit authority estimates it saved about $750,000 this year by reducing service to the East End. 

Williams said the cuts were part of GRTC's ongoing monitoring and changes to make sure the redesigned bus system is putting resources where they are needed.

"You've got areas in Southside where we are talking about buses coming every hour," Williams said. “We are looking at right-sizing the whole system to make sure everyone is getting at least 30-minute service.” 

GRTC is also currently soliciting feedback from East End residents about how to spend a $100,000 matching grant from Bon Secours that must be used for creating new bus stops and other enhancements. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].

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