New Buses, Services for VCU Transit
University Public Affairs
VCU Parking & Transportation is overhauling its entire fleet of buses and services. While the permanent fleet will not roll out until Nov. 1, passengers will start noticing changes immediately.
The most noticeable is the buses themselves.
While VCU has used GRTC buses since 2004, the university contracted with Groome Transportation for its new fleet. The interim fleet, which launched July 1, and the permanent fleet, which will arrive in November, both consist of VCU-branded buses.
"Passengers will be able to easily identify all of the buses because of the new VCU signs," said Robin Mack, assistant manager for transportation. "Also, Groome Transportation emphasizes providing excellent customer service so we hope our passengers will notice friendly drivers who are focused on customer service, which includes timely service."
Groome Transportation's focus on exemplary service includes strategies to prevent "stacking," the frustrating occurrence when two buses on the same route arrive back-to-back at the bus stop.
"The interim fleet will provide uninterrupted service, with the same stops and schedules, for all routes," said Miriam Maddux, ombudsman and transit specialist. "The permanent fleet will have many new, rider-friendly amenities."
Those amenities, coming in November, include GPS; Wi-Fi on the Campus Connector; cushioned, branded seats; and LED screens at key stops. Each bus will have double doors for easy boarding and disembarking. Rather than flashing a VCU ID, passengers will scan their VCUCard in front of a card reader, which will collect information that can be used to make improvements on each specific route.
"VCU is excited about this new partnership with Groome Transportation and we are looking forward to hearing passengers’ feedback," Mack said. "I think they will be excited about the reliability and timeliness of the new services as well as all of the new amenities on the permanent fleet, particularly the GPS.
"Passengers won’t have to guess when the bus will be there, they will know."