How Henrico GRTC bus service has expanded since Pulse debut

HENRICO, Va. — Several Henrico County service adjustments began Monday, June 25, the same week as the Pulse launched. Under the reimagined system, all GRTC bus routes have been redesigned to improve connections and access, to reflect how the city has grown and changed over the years, and in response to community input – but all tying into the Pulse, the backbone of the service.

The local routes now arrive at color-coded frequencies. A green route comes once every hour, blue routes come once every half hour, and red routes come every 15 minutes.

The system wide upgrades have brought distinct changes to Henrico County service.

There is now enhanced weekday service every 30 minutes to Richmond International Airport, available on the Route 7 A/B Nine Mile route.

Previously, only two routes took travelers near the airport, but there has long been a gap in consistent hourly and weekend service.

Now the Seven Pines route includes a dedicated airport stop near baggage claim. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., buses will operate every 30 minutes, but only on weekdays. There is not yet any weekend service to RIC.

Taking advantage of the efficiency provided by the Pulse, the Route 19 Pemberton will offer more frequent service every 30 minutes between Willow Lawn and Pemberton and Broad. Route 19 used to run approximately once an hour, from Pemberton and Broad Streets to 10th and Marshall Streets in the city. There is still no weekend service, but that will change in the fall.

Also in the West End, Henrico’s new Route 79 Patterson/Parham will extend farther west to Quioccasin and Gaskin Roads at the Gayton Crossing Shopping Center. There is no weekend service for this route.

In the fall, the expansion of Route 19 deep into Short Pump, just shy of the Goochland County line, will provide routine service to an area long detached from convenient, public transit. Not only will the route extend farther west, it will also run more frequently, and provide service on weekends.

The new western terminus will be near West Broad Marketplace, where Wegmans and Cabela’s are located, in addition to several new apartment complexes. GRTC and county officials are collaborating to determine the exact location of stops along the route.

In the fall, Route 19 will run every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

This will be the largest bus transit expansion proposed for Henrico in over 25 years.

The Henrico Board of Supervisors recently approved the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget proposed by County Manager John Vithoulkas, which allocated $1.2 million to subsidize expanded GRTC service in Henrico.

The GRTC Pulse project was completed for $64.9 million, with the majority of funding coming from federal TIGER grants ($24.9 million) and state DRPT/VDOT grants ($32 million). The city of Richmond contributed $7.6 million, and Henrico County contributed $400,000.

All bus routes are free to try during the week of June 24 to June 30.