I ride the bus to work now!

By Tom

The ubiquitous purple-and-white GRTC bus.

About a month ago I moved into Church Hill, a neighborhood just east of downtown Richmond. It’s a great location, and I love living in the city, having such close access to a huge range of restaurants, coffee shops, museums, parks, cultural events… (I could go on about how awesome Richmond is, but I’ll save that for another post.)

I was also thrilled to learn that, beginning last month, the University of Richmond would be providing free access to public transportation for all of its faculty and staff. How great is that?? President Ayers is working on ways to make the University more environmentally-conscious and environmentally-friendly, and this initiative is one way of doing so.

The University is partnering with the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), which runs the city’s extensive bus network, to provide faculty and staff with transit to campus (there’s a city bus stop right at our gateway entrance). And now that I live in the city, I have a bus stop about two blocks from my house.

The Campus Gateway bus stop at UR.

Given the price of gas, there’s really no reason I shouldn’t be taking advantage of free public transit. I originally intended to ride the bus to work three days a week, but that’s quickly turned into four and even five days some weeks. Not only does it save me money on gas, but I don’t have to worry about driving, so the trip to and from work becomes free time during which I can read or relax. The commute is a little longer, but it’s definitely worth the extra time. I’ve even made a couple of new friends – mainly other university employees, taking advantage of the same program, who start and finish work around the same time I do (we chill at the bus stop together).

Even the bus stop is built in our patented Collegiate Gothic architectural style.

There is talk of a similar program being piloted this fall for students, so keep your eyes and ears open! The current program has been mentioned in a couple of national news articles about employers’ environmental initiatives and responses to the rising cost of gasoline. Just yesterday, a local news channel ran a story on the initiative; you can watch the news clip here. Pretty cool, huh?

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