Federal grant gives $25 million for RVA bus rapid transit

Which will fund half of the proposed project.

The US Department of Transportation has awarded a $24.9 million grant to GRTC to help fund construction of a bus rapid transit project along Broad Street from Rocketts Landing to Willow Lawn.

Here’s the full release.

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U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a $24.9 million transportation grant to support construction of a rapid transit network along Broad Street in downtown Richmond. The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) was awarded the $24.9 million grant, which will be matched with state and local funds, to support construction of a rapid transit project connecting the Willow Lawn area in Henrico County to Rocketts Landing in the East End of Richmond, including Main Street Station.

“This grant will allow GRTC to strengthen transit links across the regional economy, improving greater access to job opportunities for area residents and promoting economic development along a critical stretch of the Broad Street corridor,” Sen. Warner said. “I am very pleased we were able to work with Richmond’s elected leaders, Governor McAuliffe, GRTC, and the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide this important federal support to boost this exciting regional project.”

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This is a game changer for the city of Richmond and the region. This really puts the face of transit in a very positive light and will be great for economic development in the Richmond region.”

The federal funds were awarded through USDOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program, a highly competitive grant program that awards federal funds for road, rail, transit and port projects having a significant impact. The funds are meant to jumpstart critical projects for which all required engineering and environmental reviews are complete or near completion and which are ready for construction. USDOT received 797 eligible applications requesting a total of $9.5 billion in federal funds for a total of $600 million in FY 2014 TIGER funding.

In addition to the Richmond project announced today, Sen. Warner also announced a $15 million TIGER grant award to The Port of Virginia to support construction of the Norfolk International Terminal Intermodal Gate Complex and Interstate 564 Connector project. This project will improve the daily commute for thousands in the Hampton Roads region, including thousands of active duty military personnel accessing the world’s largest Navy base, by alleviating congestion on Hampton and Terminal Boulevards in Norfolk.

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Howard Lauther on said:

    As an out-of-stater who’s unfamiliar with Richmond’s past, I have a question for any current resident who’s old enough to remember. It is this: Did your city once have streetcar lines? If so, and as a follow-up, can you recall whose decision it was to rip them up and replace them with polluting buses? And are you irritated by the fact that your city is now paying to regain something it once threw away? Just curious. Thanks!

  2. Ross Catrow on said:
  3. ^^This.

  4. Howard Lauther on said:

    Mr. Catrow: Thank you very much for that link to the Richmond Union Passenger Railway. What a civic shame that it vanished in 1949. Change is not always progress, which is why San Francisco still has its trolley cars, I suppose. You may get somewhere a little bit faster, but what’s the point if you sacrifice a city’s romantic charm?

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