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City plans new Park and Ride-type initiative

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 11/24/2021, 6 p.m.
Instead of driving into Downtown and searching for parking, how about parking and catching a bus or van that would ...

Instead of driving into Downtown and searching for parking, how about parking and catching a bus or van that would link you to the Pulse rapid transit to ride to your destination?

That’s the idea behind a pilot program City Hall hopes to begin called the Shared Mobility Passenger Bus.

The purpose: To reduce the number of people who drive by themselves into Downtown and then must find a parking space. Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s administration has received a $90,000 state grant to assist the city in developing the project to serve people who live “on the outskirts of the city on major arterials.”

The region already has an existing Park and Ride system that provides express GRTC service from parts of Henrico and Chesterfield counties and Petersburg, but most locations are farther away from the city line.

This new program is built on the idea of creating new park-and-ride lots on the city’s edges and then connecting them via bus to the city’s bus rapid-transit line or one of the city’s bike share sites where they could rent a bike and pedal the last mile or so.

The administration argues more people are traveling into Downtown and envisions this as one way to improve travel and reduce vehicle-created pollution.

So far, few details have been provided as to where the park- and-ride sites would be located or when the initiative may begin.