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GRTC Continues Zero Fare Operations for Another Year

Hop on the bus, Gus. You don’t need to discuss much cuz this ride is free.

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Press Release from GRTC made the announcement that no fares through June 30th of 2022.

GRTC will remain Zero Fare through June 30, 2022, as approved by the Board of Directors this morning. Using State and Federal COVID relief funding, GRTC has been fareless to ride Local Bus, Pulse (Bus Rapid Transit), Express Bus, and CARE/Paratransit vans since March 19, 2020 in response to public health measures and in the interest of economically distressed communities who rely on public transit services to reach jobs, food, healthcare, and other critical community resources.

GRTC’s annual operating and capital expenditures for FY2022 are expected to approach $100 million, including $5.8 million enabling Zero Fare operations from Federal relief funding.  In FY2019 before the pandemic, GRTC received $6.8 million in fare revenue directly from riders and paid $1.6 million in expenses associated with fare collection, resulting in a $5.2 million net fare box revenue.  For FY2022, non-staffing fare expenses were removed from the budget. Fare collection staff have been offered essential non-fare job functions within GRTC. The projected net revenue difference of $5.8 million will be replaced in the budget by federal COVID relief funds as the region continues to recover economically from the pandemic.

GRTC CEO Julie Timm explains, “Although bus ridership did decline in 2020 across the nation during the pandemic, GRTC local ridership drops were modest by comparison and are already approaching pre-COVID levels.  I attribute the ridership rebound to three areas: 1) the strength of the 2018 network redesign connecting essential workers to jobs; 2) the extensive COVID protective measures enacted early and throughout the pandemic to protect staff and riders; and 3) the ongoing commitment to Zero Fare operations to protect the health and financial stability of our riders. GRTC’s focus on connecting people to essential resources resulted in higher sustained ridership. Higher ridership translates into increased Federal and State formula funding and creates a positive feedback loop for GRTC to improve and grow the region’s mobility network.”

GRTC is a public service corporation providing mobility services in the Greater Richmond area. GRTC’s current operational budget (FY21) of $60.3 million primarily funds daily mobility operations and vehicle maintenance. GRTC has provided 7.1 million trips during this FY21 (July 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021).

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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RVAH2O Now Giving the People the Straight Poop on Sewer Overflows

This real-time technology and data makes Richmond’s the first “Smart Sewers” in Virginia.

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Full credit to Whit Clements for giving me that headline of this announcement from RVAH2O.

Big Update (and Upgrade!) for Combined Sewer System Overflow Events in Richmond! 📣

Real-time data is now viewable in an interactive map that looks just like the one above so you can know exactly where and when overflows occur (and plan your James River visits accordingly!).

(The map is linked in perpetuity in our bio as “Check for Combined Sewer System Overflow Events Here” but you can also bookmark the link for rainy days!)

Here’s how it works: just hover over (or, on your phone, click on) any of the remaining 25 overflow points in Richmond to see the last time combined flows were discharged—and just like that you’ll be up-to-date!

Red triangles give you a quick notification that there’s been an overflow event in the past 48 hours. 🔺

When you see yellow boxes, that means our team is recalibrating those sensors and meters. 🟨

This up-to-date system will replace the email alerts of the past (which were triggered and automated when it rained 0.1″ at the @richmondairport, which doesn’t always reflect rainfall within city limits).

This new map uses:

  • meters at each outfall to quantify flows
  • rain gauges in Richmond
  • real-time data that’s updated continuously!

This real-time technology and data makes Richmond’s the first “Smart Sewers” in Virginia (we love being trendsetters)! 🧠🌊

And this system will help us to maximize and fully utilize the capacity within our system to prevent overflows and reduce overflow volume!

We know y’all love accurate information and continuous updates, so we hope you’ll love this upgrade and map made for you too!

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Mass Vaccination Site at Richmond Raceway Reopens Today

If you qualify for a booster, or have not yet been vaccinated, you can schedule an appointment at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877 VAX-IN-VA. Officials said walk-ins are also welcomed.

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The Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at the Raceway will resume COVID-19 vaccine operations Tuesday, Oct. 12 and will operate Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

If you qualify for a booster, or have not yet been vaccinated, you can schedule an appointment at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877 VAX-IN-VA. Officials said walk-ins are also welcomed.

More from Vaccinate Virginia on who is eligible for the booster.

Certain groups are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster, if they received the Pfizer vaccine and if it’s been 6 months or more since their last shot.

We recommend these groups receive a booster this fall:

  • Ages 65 and older
  • Residents in a long-term care setting
  • Ages 50-64 with an underlying medical condition.

In addition, these groups may also benefit from a booster this fall:

  • Ages 18-49 with an underlying medical condition
  • Ages 18-64 with an increased risk COVID-19 because of where they work or live.

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Today is Last Day to Register to Vote in 2021 General Election

Make sure your voice is heard and register to vote today.

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Register to vote, update your current Virginia voter registration, apply to vote absentee by mail, or view your polling place, election district, absentee ballot status, and voting history at the Department of Virginia Elections website.

Don’t forget that this election if voting by absentee you’ll need a witness signature.

In 2020 at total of 5,975,696 people were registered to vote an increase of 6.18% from the previous year. Of those 5.9 million, 4,486,841 or 75.08% actually voted. The population of Virginia is around 8,536,000.

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