Busin’ to books

How would a ridership-focused GRTC affect access to Richmond’s libraries?

I read this eye-opening thing about libraries, shared by Hayley, and immediately thought about how Richmond’s Transit Network Plan would affect access to our libraries.


If we adopted something akin to the High Ridership Concept of the Richmond Transit Network Plan, seven of nine of Richmond’s libraries would sit on top of frequent (every 15 minutes) service. Compare that to today (see below), where most of the libraries are accessibly by 30-minute service.

Doubling the frequency of bus service is a huge benefit of the High Ridership Concept, but also! Glory in its more grid-like structure! From my house on the Northside I would be able to get to all nine libraries with at most one transfer—while avoiding the downtown transfer plaza completely! In the current setup, to get to the North Avenue library for my house would take about 27 minutes and 17 minutes of that would be walking. It’d only take 49 minutes to walk the entire way there.

A more frequent, faster, and easier to understandable GRTC means better access to all sorts of things for all sorts of people. Just look at all of those red lines in the High Ridership Concept, and start to imagine all of the places you’ll go!


Here’s the Familiar Concept of the Richmond Transit Network Plan, which is close to what we’ve got now. Notice that while you can still get to the libraries by bus, it’s not always super clear how one would go about doing that (say you want to check out a book on brewing after a visit to Hardywood?). Also note that service to the West End library is better in the Familiar Concept than it is in the High Ridership Concept. It’s an example of the types of decisions we’ll have to make as we work through adopting one of these concepts.


Author: Ross Catrow

Loud clapper.