Greater Richmond Transit Company

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GRTC Transit System
GRTC logo.svg
Slogan It's So Easy!
Founded 1860
Headquarters 301 East Belt Boulevard
Locale Richmond, Virginia
Service area Richmond, Virginia
Service type bus service, paratransit
Routes 59 local routes
12 express routes

1 Church Hill/Briel Street 1 Monument/St. Mary's Hospital 1 Monument-Wythe 2 Church Hill/R Street 2 Patterson/Regency Square 2 Patterson/Three Chopt 3 Robinson/South Meadow 3PP Fairmount/Fairfield Court 4 Robinson/South Belmont 4P Fairmount/Whitcomb Court 6 Broad Street/Downtown 6 Broad Street/Willow Lawn 6 East Main/Darbytown 6 East Main/Montrose Heights 6 East Main/Parker Street 7 Seven Pines/Downtown 7 Seven Pines via Nine Mile Rd. 7 Seven Pines via Williamsburg Rd. 10 Riverview/South Allen Avenue 10 Riverview/Downtown 11 17th Street/Mosby Court 11 17th Street/Downtown 16 Grove/Downtown 16 Grove/University of Richmond 18 Henrico Government Center 19 Pemberton Rd. 24 Crestwood/Downtown 24 Crestwood/Westbrook 26 Parham Express 27 Glenside Express 28 Fair Oaks Express (Airport) 29 Gaskins Express 32E Ginter Park/Downtown 32E Ginter Park/Washington Park 32W Ginter Park/Downtown 32W Ginter Park/Washington Park 34 Fourth Avenue/Highland Park 34 Highland Park/Downtown 37 Chamberlayne/Azalea Avenue 37 Chamberlayne/Downtown 45 Jefferson/Creighton Court 45 Jefferson/Downtown

62 Hull Street/Broad Rock
Fleet 231 buses & vans
Operator [M-V]
Chief executive Eldridge F. Coles
Website GRTC Transit System

The Greater Richmond Transit Company, known locally as GRTC Transit System, is a local government-owned public service company which operates an urban-suburban bus line based in Richmond, Virginia.

GRTC primarily serves the independent city of Richmond and a very small portion of the adjacent counties of Henrico and Chesterfield with a fleet of over 175 diesel-powered and CNG-powered transit buses operating approximately 59 routes.

GRTC uses government-funded equipment and resources principally provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT), and local funds. It also maintains equipment and has other affiliations with Petersburg Area Transit, a similar agency which also serves a portion of Chesterfield County.

Ownership and management[edit]

As a public service company, GRTC is owned equally by the City of Richmond and neighboring Chesterfield County. Henrico County currently purchases services from it, but holds no ownership interest.

It is managed by a private transit management company that provides the CEO, COO, and Transportation Manager, as was its predecessor, Virginia Transit Company (VTC). GRTC itself has 500 employees.

Ownership history[edit]

In 1860, Richmond Railway was organized, beginning operations in August. The service was forced to stop for nearly 2 years during the Civil War.

In 1866, Joseph Jackson, Jr., acquired control and resumed operations.

In 1881, it was sold to Richmond City Railway Company.

In 1887, The Richmond City Council adopted an ordinance granting a franchise to the Richmond Union Passenger Railway Company to operate a street railway system. Ground was broken for laying rail.

In 1888, Frank Sprague installed a complete system of electric streetcars in Richmond, Virginia. This was the first large scale and successful use of electricity to run a city's entire system of streetcars. Operation of streetcars continued until they were totally replaced by buses in 1949.

In 1925, Virginia Railway and Power company bought the transit system.

In 1944, the Securities and Exchange Commission directed Virginia Electric and Power company to confine its activities to the electricity business.

In 1944, the Richmond transit bus system (and a similar one in Norfolk) was purchased by VTC, which became part of the United Transit Company the next year. In 1962, American Transportation Enterprises Inc. (ATE) acquired a controlling interest in United Transit Company. After World War II, public transit systems in the United States became unprofitable, and most were eventually converted to government-owned and funded operations. This trend included Virginia Transit Company operations in Richmond and Norfolk.

In 1947, the Main Street and Westhampton streetcar lines are motorized. Virginia Transit Company began conversion to motor buses.

In 1949, Buses replace electric trolleys. On November 25, 1949, ten streetcars make the last run.

In 1962, American Transportation Enterprises, Inc., acquired controlling interest in United Transit Company.

In 1972, federal, state and local funds were used to purchase the assets of the Virginia Transit Company, and a new public service company was set up, GRTC, which was wholly owned by the City of Richmond. A one-half interest was later purchased by Chesterfield County in the late 1980s. Henrico County declined to purchase a portion at that time.

Management history[edit]

Immediately after GRTC was formed, American Transportation Enterprises, Inc., through a subsidiary, continued to provide management.


1 Monument 2 Patterson 3 Robinson South Meadow 4 Robinson South Belmont 6 Broad Street 7 Seven Pines 10 Riverview 11 17th Street 16 Grove 18 Henrico Government Center Shuttle 19 Pemberton Road 22 Hermitage 23X Glenside/Parham Express 24 Crestwood 26X Parham Express 27X Glenside Express 28X Airport Express 29X Gaskins Express 32E Ginter Park 32W Ginter Park 34 Highland Park 37 Chamberlayne 41 Church Hill "R" Street 43 Fairmount Whitcomb Court 44 Fairmount Fairfield Court 45 Jefferson Creighton Court 51 Church Hill Briel Street 52 East Main Montrose Heights 53 East Main Darbytown 62 Hull Street 63 Midlothian 64X Stony Point Express 66X Spring Rock Green Express 67 Chippenham Local 70 Forest Hill 71 Forest Hill 72 Ruffin Road 73 Ampthill 74 Oak Grove 81X Chesterfield Express 82X Commonwealth 20 Swift Creek Express 91 Laburnum Connector 93 Azalea Connector 95X Richmond/Petersburg Express 101 Southside Plaza Connector 102X Kings Dominion Express

Color-coded routes, Express buses, and Park-and-Ride buses[edit]

There are five color routes that serve various neighborhoods of Richmond.

To complement Color-coded routes, Express buses run from downtown to various points with few or no stops. Express buses are as follows:

Park-and-ride buses have parking lots for commuters. GRTC Park-and-Ride Service is provided for the following routes:

  • Parham Road - 23, 26
  • Glenside Avenue - 23, 27
  • White Oaks Village - 28
  • Gaskins Road - 29

Most routes converge on downtown Richmond near Richmond City Hall and the VCU Medical Campus on Broad Street with the exception of routes 18, 91, 93 and 101. Although Chesterfield County is a part owner of GRTC and the county is largely urbanized, there is no public transportation in Chesterfield aside from the Brandermill express run and the two routes (Midlothian Turnpike and Jefferson Davis Highway) that travel roughly half a mile over the city line and then turn back into the city of Richmond. Service in Henrico County is also very limited, with very little bus service in the northern part of the county, and none in the Varina area or Short Pump.

The GRTC bus garage, originally a streetcar facility, is located in the City at Robinson and Cary Streets. Petersburg Area Transit buses are also frequently serviced at this location. In 2007, a new facility was being developed near the intersection of Belt Boulevard and Midlothian Turnpike in South Richmond.

Numerical list of routes[edit]

A complete list of routes is as follows:

Paratransit service[edit]

GRTC's paratransit service in Richmond and Henrico County is provided by the CARE service, which is operated under contract by Laidlaw Transit, Inc.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]