VCU students, staff can ride GRTC for free this school year

RICHMOND, Va. — Getting to and from Virginia Commonwealth University’s downtown Richmond campuses is getting cheaper (and faster) for students and school employees.

The university has signed a one-year agreement with the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) to provide unlimited free rides on the new GRTC Pulse Bus Rapid Transit and regular fixed-route bus service (local and express) for all VCU students and employees.

“This partnership with GRTC provides the entire VCU community with greater access and alternative means to explore and connect to more areas of Richmond — a need revealed through our most recent strategic planning process,” Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System, said in a statement.

The Pulse, Richmond’s newly-launched rapid transit bus, runs a 7.6-mile route through downtown Richmond between Rocketts Landing in Henrico’s East End and Willow Lawn in Henrico’s West End.

“We are pleased that VCU and VCU Health have worked closely with the city of Richmond and GRTC to develop a pilot program that offers the students, faculty and staff access to the modernized GRTC Transit System that will provide a direct connection between the Monroe Park Campus and the VCU Health hospital,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Starting Wednesday, August 1, VCU students and employees need to just present their VCU-, VCU Health System- or Virginia Premier-issued ID card to the bus driver upon boarding. Later this school year, new bus cards will be distributed.

“VCU’s Campus Connector will continue to provide transportation service between the Monroe Park and MCV campuses with existing stops through the end of the year,” a university spokesperson said. “However, beginning in spring 2019, the service will transition to an express route. Shuttles to the remote parking facilities (A, I, M, R lots) will continue to serve these locations as normal.”

Students and employees with questions regarding the pilot program may visit parking.vcu.edu/transportation/grtc, or contact VCU Parking and Transportation directly at (804) 828-7275 (PARK).