Virginia, Richmond request federal grant for Richmond Bus Rapid Transit System

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State and Richmond-area entities are seeking a $24.9 million federal grant that would provide half the funding for a 7.5 mile Bus Rapid Transit system on Broad Street.

A BRT system can run about as fast as a car and provides the benefits of light rail system at one tenth of the infrastructure cost, says RVA Rapid Transit, a citizen’s group promoting the project.  The pilot BRT project on Broad Street would cost $49.8 million to design and construct. Eventually the project would involve four BRT lines running on dedicated lanes along the four major arteries of metro Richmond: Broad and Hull streets, Midlothian Turnpike and Route 1.

The Richmond BRT route has been in development since 2009. The system would provide a one-time local benefit of $41.5 million and create 406 jobs for the area, state officials say.  The annual economic benefit is anticipated to be $7 million. 

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), the Greater Richmond Transit Co. (GRTC), the City of Richmond and Henrico County announced Thursday they are collaborating on a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application that would help fund the Broad Street BRT system. The TIGER grant program invests in road, rail, transit and port projects across the nation that deliver safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, livability and environmental sustainability. 

Virginia won’t know until the fall whether the project will be awarded a grant. There is $600 million in available funding for this year’s TIGER grant program.

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