Tag Archives: GRTC

City Council Members Call for GRTC Task Force

Rachel DePompa – bio | email

GRTC Task Force:

The GRTC may be under new scrutiny this year. Two city council members, (Bruce Tyler of District 1/Doug Conner from the 9th) want to create a special GRTC Task Force. Here’s a link to the actual ordinance under consideration. Under the proposal, the council would appoint 9 voting members to recommend new legislation, plans, policies and programs that promote efficient mass transit in the city. The task force would also look at working with interested private organizations to improve the service and the efficiency of the GRTC.

Bruce Tyler came up with the idea and told me, “Personally, I believe the GRTC could have done a better job of managing their business. At the same time, I’ve gotten a lot of folks saying they’re doing a great job. I feel like the only way to get to the truth in the matter is to have a task force.

Doug Conner is a co-patron of the ordinance and said, “I thought i t was a great idea, because, once and for all, we can look into the GRTC and figure out the pros and cons.”

Tyler (who has been a constant critic of the agency) pointed out that the City Council gives the GRTC about 11 million dollars a year. He said, “I want us to look at innovative solutions to take th is into the next 20, 30, 40 years. I also want us to look at this from an efficiency standpoint. We can do it better. We can do it more cost-effective.”

I caught up with GRTC Ceo John Lewis. He tells me that he welcomes the extra attention. He said, “I’m excited and pleased that the council is willing to put together a comprehensive task force. Hopefully, with the expertise needed, to really take a comprehensive look and how we operate public transit in the region.” Lewis says his agency was already vetted by the federal government, state government, and by a panel of peers. He says national experts named the GRTC the leading transit system in the country in 2008. He says, “We’re the only system in the country of our size that does not have a sustainable revenue source.” He says of the task force, “let’s be bold with the opportunity. let’s look at how we can make this system better; how we can make it sustainable; how we can make it long-lasting. Anything else would be a disservice.”

The full city council has to approve the creation of this task force. It could take up the issue this September. If created, this task force would have one year to meet and come up with recommendations.

Extras: And, just wanted to say thanks to this local blogger for the shout-out. 🙂

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It’s Monday: What’d I Miss This Weekend?

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email

I’ve been out-of-town since Thursday so here’s an update to a few stories…..

GRTC Photo Controversy:

The Free Press has apologized. The newspaper posted a disgraceful picture after the deadly bus crash two weeks ago. (You can read my prior thoughts about that here.) The editor and chief has finally addressed the incident in the newspaper.  He also posted several of your comments on the editorial page. For all that the newspaper did wrong that day, I commend the editor for addressing the error in judgement and taking full responsibility.

In the paper he wrote….  “I pledge that the Free Press will learn from our mistake, with the goal of becoming more attuned to the sensitivities of
humanity. I pledge that we will make a greater effort to practice
what we preach.”
— Raymond H. Boone

Here is a link to the apology. (Make sure you scroll to page A8.)

The Name Game:

I’ve tried my hardest to refrain from commenting on the names in the running for the new Richmond baseball team. I’m going to stick by that rule, but many of you seem to have a lot to say. 🙂  I will say that Double A teams in the country often have silly or goofy names.  It’s part of the marketing to get people into the seats for Double A.  You have to remember these are players who are twice removed from the pro’s…. not one step away. It’s harder to get people excited, which is why the names are usually silly. Also, you have to give it to the new managers of the Richmond “Whatchmacallits.”  They’ve gotten more press about these names in the last week, then the Richmond Braves got in a month’s time. Smart marketing!

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Thoughts on the GRTC Bus Crash

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email

The accident was terrible and tragic. A woman is killed by a GRTC bus while crossing the street. And late, last week the situation was compounded by an inappropriate picture in the Richmond Free Press. For those of you that don’t know, it was an up-close picture of the victim. She was dead on the street and under the bus. This is the kind of thing that gives all journalists a bad name.  SHAME ON YOU FREE PRESS!  I will not post the picture and I will not post a link to the Free Press, because the paper does not deserve any more attention. That picture was not necessary, it was inflammatory and hurtful to the family. There was no reason for people to see it. And the Editor and Chief is a coward in my book for not returning a single call to face the music to the obvious public outrage.  SHAME ON YOU FREE PRESS!

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