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GRTC buses traveling along Broad Street corridor are too big for lanes

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RICHMOND, Va. --Thousands of residents and visitors travel along the stretch of Broad Street between Belvidere and 14th Street every day.

GRTC buses can frequently be seen traveling for blocks and taking up  two lanes.  In some cases, drivers are forced to suddenly brake or veer off into another lane.

“Sometimes buses will just jump in front of cars,”  driver Cassie Washington said. “It’s too narrow to have all these buses going through there,” said Jennifer Garcia.

GRTC CEO David Green looked at the images of buses traveling in such an unsafe manner. He said the problem is that bus lanes are too narrow.  GRTC buses are 10.5 feet wide and the lanes are nine feet wide.

“They’re just not adequate," Green said. "It's tough for buses to operate in an urban environment."

Cars parked along Broad Street also contribute to the danger, said Green. Lanes are reserved for buses only during the morning and evening rush,  which means GRTC bus drivers are restricted at other times. Green said there is not much more he or his drivers can do.

“That’s not something under GRTC control; so, that's a city issue," he said. "We just pull off on the curb and pick people up,” explained Green.

CBS 6 asked city leaders to find out why these unsafe driving conditions are allowed to persist.

The most recent data provided by GRTC shows at least 38 accidents, involving its buses along Broad Street between Belvidere and 14th, over a three-year period.

"The city's proposed Bus Rapid Transit project will further help alleviate bus congestion along Broad Street," a city spokesperson said.

In the meantime, city leaders say they want to have fewer buses travel along Broad Street, and will be relocating several stops as part of that effort.

The Bus Rapid Transit Plan is scheduled for completion in 2018.


  • mary

    GRTC CEO David Green said about buses traveling in Richmond. “It’s tough for buses to operate in an urban environment.” I think that’s nearly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. And everybody who drives in the city has known for years that the buses, whether GRTC or VCU, are too wide for the streets.

  • Katherine Q

    I was visiting my VCU Student – son in Richmond and was forced out of my lane by a bus who was pulling away from the curb. He acted as if I was in his way and pushed me over. I had to swerve or get run over. Something should be done. I have seen this on several occasions.

  • validgarry

    What would help congestion would be a better public transport system across Greater Richmond. 50 people traveling on one bus makes for a lot congestion than 50 people each in their own car.

  • JOE

    Which fool figured this out and how much di it cost the city to do a study on it. Richmond can do just fine with smaller busses,if you look at the buses now they contain very few passengers.

  • Morning Dew

    There is something they can do. They can teach their drivers to be a little more careful. There should not be 38 accidents in 3 years and the CEO says, “there is nothing we can do.” They can also educate the people and ask for some understanding that an oversized vehicle wants to change lanes.

  • Ange

    I have lived in the fan and southside and have taken grtc on and off for 20 yrs. I also travel by bike. Having seen people drive in the city from the perspective of a a bus rider and a cyclist…. I hope to never have to drive here. The congestion cars create and car drivers habits of pulling in front of buses while the bus is stopped to pick and drop off riders is unimaginable and dangerous. Our awareness needs to shift to how we are coping with traffic congestion and gas omissions. How can we get more buses and tran/trolley cars onto the streets and stop driving. I hope we can look to the efforts DC has made in this area to make trans and buses operating effectively.

  • Will Weaver

    Er, where did WTVR get these numbers? The buses are 8.5 feet wide (based on the specs on Gillig’s website, Gillig being the company that manufactures GRTC’s buses), not 10.5 feet wide. The MCI D4505s used on express routes are also only 8.5 feet wide. In fact, most city buses are generally only 8 to 8.5 feet wide. The buses aren’t too wide for the lanes, and the lanes are definitely wider than 9 feet.

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