2007-10-31 / Opinions

County should support public transportation

Dear Editor,

Now is the time to "set the record straight" regarding public transit in Chesterfield County. Route 82, [which covers the] Winterpock/360 and Commonwealth 20 [areas], includes passengers from, at a minimum, the following neighborhoods: Foxcroft, Foxfire, Hampton Park, Woodlake, Ashbrook, Summerford, Brandy Oaks, Birkdale, Brandermill, and many others, including areas that are not subdivisions, such as Winterpock/Beaver Bridge Road from Beach Road to Route 360. All of these communities and their residents are in Chesterfield County, [not Powhatan and Amelia counties, as some claim].

Since public transit service was reinstated in Chesterfield County in November 2005, it has been a rousing success. I personally have been providing ridership data from GRTC to members of the current board each month.

Since Route 82 has been fully operational, the ridership has exceeded the service goal established by the [county's] Director of Transportation John McCracken. All members of the board were provided a copy of McCracken's e-mail regarding the service goal and ridership information in a presentation I made to the board in July 2006. The presentation is a matter of public record as are the documents presented to the clerk of the board for each of the board members.

Are there a few users of public transit who reside in Powhatan or Amelia counties? Yes. However, instead of using a handful of users out of over 230 average daily riders as a wedge issue between Chesterfield and other localities, why do we not use it as an opportunity [to] forge a regional partnership with these localities to offer multi-modal means of transportation within the region, focusing more of our efforts on moving people vs. vehicles?

As these localities and Chesterfield continue to grow, the traffic demands placed on the major arteries that go through Chesterfield County (Route 60 and Route 360, as well as other connector roads) will only increase. It is important that we face the future creatively and look for other, more efficient solutions to our transportation issues.

Bob Herndon


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