GRTC Pilot Program
Virginia Commonwealth University has entered into a one-year service agreement with The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) to provide unlimited transportation access on the GRTC Pulse Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and regular local and express fixed-route bus service for all VCU, VCU Health System, and Virginia Premier ID holders at no cost to the rider.
This transportation initiative, led by Vice President Meredith Weiss and her administration, was recommended in a recently completed campus wide parking and transportation study of the ONE VCU Master Plan and is managed through VCU Parking and Transportation.
The program will operate as a pilot for the upcoming academic year — Aug. 1, 2018 through July 31, 2019. The Campus Connector will continue to provide intracampus transportation service with existing stops through the end of the year. 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 service these locations as normal.
GRTC Travel Training Sessions:
Want to use GRTC but don't know how to navigate the system? We are hosting one-hour sessions with a GRTC travel trainer to cover how to use the GRTC bus system, navigating Pulse/Route 5 routes across campus, and commuting from Richmond's Northside, Southside, East End and West End to VCU's Monroe Park and/or MCV campuses. Choose the session that's right for you. 15 person max./ class.
Effective Sunday, February 24, all students and employees will be required to utilize your issued VCU/GRTC GO Pass in addition to your VCU, VCU Health or Virginia Premier ID card to ride GRTC under the pilot program.
View a campus map of Connector Express, Pulse and Route 5 stops: Monroe Park and MCV Campus Bus Map [PDF]
Initially, as a VCU, VCU Health System or Virginia Premier student or employee you will simply present your VCU-, VCU Health System- or Virginia Premier-issued ID card to the bus driver upon boarding. Beginning on Sunday, Feb. 24, students and employees will use a VCU/GRTC GO Pass in addition to your VCU, VCU Health or Virginia Premier ID card to ride GRTC under the pilot.
View instructions for using your new VCU/GRTC GO Pass by downloading How to use your GRTC/VCU GO Pass [PDF].
Please note, effective Feb. 24, a VCU, VCU Health System or Virginia Premier-issued ID card is required in addition to your GO Pass to ride GRTC under the pilot program.
Every student and employee will be issued one GO Pass. In the event your pass is lost or stolen, please contact the VCU Parking and Transportation customer service office immediately. A $10 fee will be assessed for a replacement pass. In the event your pass was stolen, a police report must be provided in order for this fee to be waived.
Any VCU, VCU Health System or Virginia Premier student or employee who has been issued a VCU, VCU Health System or Virginia Premier ID card and GO Pass can participate. For questions regarding your status, please contact your Human Resources department.
While VCU affiliates are not issued GO Passes, you may submit for an exception by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, GO Pass exceptions are only granted for those who demonstrate a defined business need (i.e: traveling cross-campus for meetings, delivering materials, etc.).
A valid ID card and VCU/GRTC GO Pass are required to ride GRTC as part of this pilot program. If you have lost/misplaced your ID card, please visit VCU Card for a replacement.
The Campus Connector will continue to provide intracampus transportation service throughout the 2018-19 academic year; however, beginning in spring 2019, the Connector service will be reduced to an ‘express’ route.
Shuttles to the remote parking facilities (A, I, M, R lots) will not be affected and will continue to service these locations as normal.
Yes! Check out this video on how to bring your bike onto the bus.
The best way to retrieve route and schedule information is to download GRTC’s Transit On The Go! Mobile App. Through this app, you’re able to get comprehensive estimated locations of GRTC buses using predictive technology in the Richmond area, along with estimated times of arrival at each stop, in the palm of your hand. You can also visit GRTC’s Schedules and Routes page to learn more about specific GRTC routes.
Pulse buses arrive every 15 minutes (or better), from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days a week. View the Pulse frequency schedule at http://ridegrtc.com/media/main/Pulse_Frequency_Schedule.pdf.
- Mondays – Fridays:
- 5:30AM – 6AM: every 15 minutes
- 6AM-7PM: every 10 minutes
- 7PM-11:30PM: every 15 minutes
- 11:30PM-1AM: every 30 minutes
- Saturdays & Sundays:
- 6AM –11:30PM: every 15 minutes
- 11:30PM-1AM: every 30 minutes
Route 5 buses arrive every 15 minutes.
GRTC is dedicated to making it easier for all customers to use their services. All GRTC fixed route buses contain features and equipment that allow riders with disabilities to board, ride, and exit vehicles easily and comfortably. Learn more about these accommodations at http://ridegrtc.com/need-help/accessibility.
The Pulse, a modern, high-capacity rapid transit system serving activity centers on a 7.6 mile route along Broad Street and Main Street, provides a direct connection between the MCV Campus and Monroe Park Campus. Route 5, a new, high frequency route, travels within the vicinity of many of the same stops as the Campus Connector. Learn more about these routes at http://ridegrtc.com/planning-your-trip/find-a-route.
View a campus map of Conenctor Express, Pulse and Route 5 stops: Monroe Park and MCV Campus Bus Map [PDF]
During the pilot, you can ride any of GRTC’s regular local fixed-route or express buses with your ID card. Seasonal express fares (ie: Kings Dominion route) are not included as part of this pilot.
Jointly owned by the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County, GRTC is the public transportation system for the Greater Richmond area. GRTC provides transportation services to the Richmond VA area and parts of Chesterfield and Henrico counties. These include fixed routes and express route bus service.
The GRTC Pulse is a modern, high quality, high capacity rapid transit system that serves a 7.6-mile route along Broad Street and Main Street, from Rocketts Landing in the City of Richmond to Willow Lawn in Henrico County. Additional information on this service can be found at http://ridegrtc.com/brt.
No. Guests of VCU students and employees may not ride GRTC routes under this pilot program; however, they are welcome to purchase a ride pass through GRTC. View purchasing options at http://ridegrtc.com/need-help/how-to-ride-guide.
GRTC utilizes several notification methods for service impacts. The best way to receive alerts is through the GRTC Transit On The Go! Mobile App. In addition to providing estimated arrival times, you can receive service bulletins about holiday schedules, inclement weather, detours and more through the app.
In addition to the app, alerts are posted on the following channels:
- For traffic advisories, visit: http://ridegrtc.com/news-initiatives/news-updates/.
- Riders can subscribe to receive alerts at http://new.grtcbustracker.com/bustime/login.jsp.
Yes, as long as you present a valid ID card and GO Pass during the pilot period, you’re able to ride at no cost.
GRTC observes “Rules of Riding” policies while on-board, at any bus shelter or stop, or on any GRTC property, available at http://ridegrtc.com/need-help/rules-of-riding/. Security cameras are located at each of the 26 Pulse station platforms to provide safe and responsive customer service for any need that may arise.
If you require emergency assistance at a Pulse station, there is a 911 emergency call box located at the station. Push the emergency button to connect with a 911 operator. If you see something suspicious, say something. GRTC also monitors these security cameras for other threats and operational issues that may occur.
In addition, VCU has formed a joint safety and security committee in partnership with GRTC and VCU Police to address safety-related issues that may arise during the pilot period. If you have an existing safety concern, please submit it via the feedback form.
Ridership data and your feedback will help provide us with the necessary information to accurately understand transit demand, evaluate the pilot program’s success and inform our future transportation program decisions. Students and employees are encouraged throughout the pilot period to share your feedback.
Yes. Parking permits for students are calculated/applied beginning the first of each month (i.e. If a permit is returned during the middle of the month, the refund will be applied/calculated beginning the first of the following month.) Student subscribers will be refunded for any full month of non-usage after the date of return (i.e:a return on July 1 would require payment through July; however August and September would be refunded).
Employee cancellations are processed in accordance with the VCU and VCU Health System payroll schedule (i.e:a return on July 1 would require payment through July; however August and September would be refunded).
For questions regarding permit refunds, email email@example.com.
The cost of the pilot is $1.2 million. Costs for express services are billed separately, based on usage. Both are funded by VCU Parking and Transportation auxiliary funds and VCU Health System funds.