GRTC official: No money for transfer station proposed by Navy Hil

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 1/2/2020, 6 a.m.
GRTC lacks the funding to develop and operate the modern transfer center that is part of the $1.5 billion city ...
Ms. Timm

GRTC lacks the funding to develop and operate the modern transfer center that is part of the $1.5 billion city and Navy Hill District Corp. plan to replace the Richmond Coliseum and develop nearby blocks, according to the bus company.

Julie Timm, chief executive officer of the public transit company, has made the point in recent discussions with the GRTC board.

While she consistently has supported the Navy Hill proposal’s inclusion of an accessible transfer center for riders to change buses, she also has stated that GRTC lacks the money to make the center a reality if the redevelopment plan wins City Council approval.

In response to a Free Press query, GRTC spokeswoman Carrie Rose Pace stated that Ms. Timm has noted “that the funding sources for any increase in transit service and infrastructure, including any transfer center, regardless of size or location, still need to be identified.”

While the Navy Hill plan envisions beginning the process by building a shell building at 9th and Clay streets that could become the center, Ms. Pace noted the Navy Hill proposal “does not currently address” the costs GRTC would face to finish and outfit the building or the money needed for operations.

So far, neither GRTC nor the city has figured out how to pay for such a center, Ms. Pace stated. Currently, GRTC has a much-criticized “temporary” outdoor transfer station that extends along 9th Street past City Hall.

GRTC has studied multiple locations in the past 20 years, including the proposed Navy Hill site, for a transfer center. City Council has rebuffed GRTC’s previous proposals for developing a center at sites including Main Street Station, 6th and Grace streets and at a Cary Street parking lot in Downtown.

With the overhaul of routes in the past year, Ms. Timm and others involved with transit company also have talked about the need to create smaller transfer centers at various points where different routes intersect.

In Ms.Timm’s view, both are needed, and both lack funding, Ms. Pace stated.