Good Morning, RVA: Richmond, we have a BRT

It only took a decade of planning and a five-hour council meeting, but we’re finally moving forward on bus rapid transit.

Good morning, RVA! It’s 38 °F, and for the next couple of days temperatures will drop steadily until we get to a truly cold weekend. But for now, cloudy and highs in the mid-40s are what we’ve got!

Water cooler

Last night City Council voted 7-1-1 (Samuels against, and Trammell abstained) in favor of ORD. 2015-263, the BRT development agreement. This was the final hurdle to clear in the will-they-won’t-they, Ross-and-Rachel story of GRTC’s Bus Rapid Transit plan. On deck for the meeting were the state’s Secretary of Transportation and the head of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation who both spoke positively of the project and firmly reminded Council that any delays would jeopardize the tens of millions of federal and state dollars already contributed. The city’s CAO, Selena Cuffee-Glenn, was also on hand to provide quick and thorough answers–she gets my fake MVP award for the night. When Councilman Samuels proposed three amendments to the bill, all of which would have necessitated a delay of at least two weeks if not months, Cuffee-Glen patiently provided the necessary information to get council moving forward to a vote. About 10 folks spoke against the paper during public comment and over 30 stood up to fill the aisle to speak in favor.

You guys, it was an exciting moment for the civic process in Richmond. Plus (Pulse)! Not a single person mentioned the 6th Street Marketplace or baseball. This is what progress looks like! I almost feel bittersweet about it…like, what am I going to excitedly talk to people about at bars now? Not to worry, self, there’s still lots to discuss about the Pulse: an operating agreement, a genius bus guy from Houston is headed to town, actual construction, and working with the counties to plan the next route(s). Let’s get a beer to talk it all over!

While we were all busy BRTing with City Council last night, Richmond’s School Board picked their newest member: Dawson Boyer. Read Mark Robinson’s three sentence description of him from last month and a bit more from Louis Llovio this morning, or follow freshly-minted Representative Boyer on Twitter. Welcome to the party, pal!

But really, it’s less of a party and more of a super stressful hangout on which a significant portion of the city’s future depends. For example: The RTD’s Katy Burnell Evans tells us of the $19.1 million measure the School Board was forced to approve that even they say “does not represent the most prudent use of taxpayer dollars to address the district’s aging and declining facilities.” There are many super concerning sentences in that piece.

One of my favorite local breweries, Triple Crossing, announced that they are expanding to Fulton! Lucky for everyone, both easternly and westernly city residents, they plan to keep their location on Foushee Street up and running as well.

Here’s a thing I’ve been meaning to talk about but got buried in the snow: RVANews Live: Fascinating People 2016. On February 24th, we are inviting 13 of the most fascinating people we met in 2015 to talk to you about…whatever they want! They’re fascinating and you should listen to them and be inspired! The list of speakers is pretty amazing if I do say so myself, and you can get your tickets right here.

Oh snap! It’s the New Hampshire Primary! I’m sure you can turn on the cable news channel of your choice tonight and receive much punditry.


  • #7 Wahoos host Virginia Tech tonight at 8:00 PM. You can watch on the ACC Network.

This morning’s longread

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

I’m up through the 1950s in this list, and it’s already totally worth the time. Block out a couple of hours and settle in!

A few notes on our methodology: We’ve defined “joke” pretty broadly here. Yes, a joke can be a one-liner built from a setup and a punch line, but it can also be an act of physical comedy. Pretending to stick a needle in your eye, or pooping in the street while wearing a wedding dress: both jokes. A joke, as defined by this list, is a discrete moment of comedy, whether from stand-up, a sketch, an album, a movie, or a TV show.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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

  1. Scott Burger on said:

    I sincerely hope the BRT project is successful. Its important to note that the opposition wanted better mass transit also, and were not even necessarily against BRT, but wanted a delay for more information, more stakeholder commitment, and more mass transit discussion. With the manner this has been pushed through, I hope proponents recognize that they have a lot of work ahead. Will it truly be a first step towards regional mass transit? Will the universities and counties make real financial commitments? Will the Pulse operations be financially solvent and sustainable? Sounds like the East End and Southside will be watching….

  2. caught the end of the council meeting on tv (the vote & council’s comments before that). 3 things caught my attention.
    1. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word I, I’d be rich this morning.
    2. President Mosby seems to be running for Mayor already (her speech – she looks out for every district of Richmond)
    3. Didn’t Reva mention she was going to vote no? And I respect her reasons why, but then ultimately, why abstain from the vote? why not just vote no?

  3. Felipe on said:

    When will Jarrett Walker be here and will he be doing a speaking engagement for the public?

  4. Richard R on said:

    Shouldn’t the headline be something like ‘BRT opposition fails to invoke silver bullet argument, sixth street marketplace not mentioned’?

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