Good morning, RVA! It's 72 °F, and today’s weather looks wonderful. Highs should hit the mid 80s, and thunderstorms should stay far, far away. Good riddance.
Speaking of, the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s John Boyer has a look at this past weekend’s record-breaking rain that made this month the wettest June on record. 10 points to John for tying our extreme local weather to global climate change!
Richmond Police are reporting that Charles H. Pope, who was shot on May 29th near the 2300 block of Bethel Street, has died.
Yesterday, GRTC launched their new Pulse bus rapid transit line and an entirely redesigned bus network! Overall, things seemed to have gone pretty well: Pulse Stations were packed, plenty of people rode the bus for the first time, regular riders had a chance to preview the updated system, and operators got real-world experience driving the new routes. All in all, a great day for public transportation in Richmond. The RTD’s Alexandra Cline talked to some riders, both new and old, about how the Pulse and the new routes worked out, and folks seem positive and optimistic—which I honestly don’t know if I would have predicted! Now comes the big test: Getting people to and from work on time using all the new transit tools we’ve got!
Related, yesterday marked the beginning of RVA Transit Week, a full week of choose-your-own bus adventures. Today’s suggested bus trips: Join the Mayor, the Governor, and some other folks at Maggie Walker Plaza at 10:00 AM for an official ribbon cutting ceremony. After that, consider eating your lunch at the City Hall observation deck, watching the Pulse do its work down below. Remember, this entire week you can ride the Pulse and all the redesigned routes for free! It’s an excellent time to experiment with a bus commute (or just an excellent time to get free bus rides to work if that’s already your jam).
Whoa, big media news! Ned Oliver has left the Richmond Times-Dispatch to join Robert Zullo’s new Virginia news nonprofit, and Style Weekly’s Paul Spencer has the details. Zullo, also a former RTDer, has hired away Oliver and a few other reporters to cover state-level policy. Sounds great to me—y’all know how I feel about the Byzantine labyrinth that is the Virginia General Assembly, so any new and dedicated effort to shine some light on that thing is welcomed. I couldn’t find a launch date or a website yet, but I did find this Twitter account: @MercuryVirginia.
City Council meets tonight for their regularly scheduled meeting, and you can find the agenda in its present form here (PDF). Of note and of interest: Council will consider updating the residency requirements for certain City positions and will look into updating the way they handle their nondepartmental funds (aka the money they give out to external nonprofits). The latter would set up three buckets of money—each filled with a set, per-capita dollar amount—and disbursed by a newly created commission. There’s also this dumb ordinance to give away $279,978 to business impacted by Pulse construction (PDF) for “parking related programs and beautification.” Will the parking related program be towing folks parked in the bus-only lanes or what?
- Squirrels split a handful of games against Bowie and now hit the road for a series against the Hartford Yard Goats beginning tonight at 7:05 PM.
- Kickers battled the Charlotte Independence to a 1-1 draw.
- Nats went two of three against the Phillies over the weekend and move right on to a series against Tampa Bay tonight at 7:10 PM.
This morning's longread
Here’s an excellent FAQ on Reddit that answers just about any bus-related question you could have.
Sunday, June 24th is the beginning of a huge change for GRTC. After over a decade of planning, engineering, and construction, Richmond's very first modern transit line, the Pulse BRT, will begin service. But it doesn't stop there: also for the first time in decades, GRTC has substantially restructured its local routes. I've been following the processes of developing both for a long time, and with all the questions I've seen popping up on here, I thought it might be handy to put a FAQ together about what's going on, how it's going down, and how you can benefit from a whole new transit network in our city!
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