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GRTC pilots new on-demand bus service program

The pilot program will mean early morning and late-night riders can request a ride between bus stops.

Trevor Dickerson



GRTC implements modified schedules on December 20, 2021, when select routes will temporarily end service at 11PM or not start service until 6AM because of ongoing labor shortages. To provide another mobility option for customers affected by the temporary service adjustments, GRTC is piloting a new on-demand service between bus stops.

GRTC customers can request one ride per day from one GRTC bus stop to another GRTC bus stop through on-demand service Monday-Friday, 5AM-6AM and 11PM-2AM. GRTC is working with multiple partners to provide this service under Zero Fare operations.

GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm explains, “We are excited to pilot this new on-demand service to ensure no rider is disadvantaged by GRTC’s temporary service adjustments on some routes. Although the bus schedule impacts are modest, we know most riders are commuting to or from work and rely on us to be there on time. This pilot not only preserves service for these late night and early morning commuters, it will also yield data to study in the GRTC service area for demand of an on-demand mobility service.”

When: Monday – Friday between 5AM-6AM and 11PM-2AM only, excluding observed Holidays falling on weekdays when GRTC operates a weekend schedule. Please pardon the dust as GRTC begins this pilot in phases this Winter 2021-2022. Uber functionality will be phased into service. This pilot program is projected to end by Spring 2022 and may be discontinued at any time.

How it works: Several Zero Fare alternative transportation options are available for riders to choose. Rides may be requested only once per day and only work from GRTC bus stop to bus stop.

GRTC/UZURV/Uber Phone Help: Call 804-358-4782 for help requesting a ride over the phone with Uber, UZURV, or a GRTC small vehicle. This is a slower option with longer waits for pick-up. Trips should be requested approximately 30 minutes before needing to ride. Wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) are available upon request. (Uber functionality will be phased into service during Winter).

Uber App: Download Uber’s mobile app and request a ride from a bus stop to the destination bus stop. This is the fastest and easiest option. When requesting a ride, make sure your pick-up bus stop is correct. (Uber functionality will be phased into service during Winter).

The Federal Mask Order remains in effect through March 18, 2022 which means all passengers must continue to properly wear face masks throughout their trip, regardless of vaccination status. Passengers with symptoms of illness are asked not to ride. For the most complete and latest GRTC updates during this pandemic, please visit our website.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.