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Richmond Region Transportation


wrldcoupe4

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20 minutes ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

First time poster. Rode it end to end with my wife and kids today. It was crowded, to say the least. The bus really moves between Staples Mill and Science Museum or maybe even VCU, then it’s a slog. Seems as though they’re still working out the signal priority feature. We got off at Rockett’s Landing and ate at the Urban Farmhouse, which seems to be struggling (the employees were pretty up-front about that). The ride back to Willow Lawn seemed a bit more efficient. I’ll be taking it for free to work downtown, and then see how it goes.

Welcome to the forum!  Come back and post often. Thanks for your review of the Pulse.  I hope it is successful!

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One other thing: In printed materials, GRTC had said there would be parking at the Willow Lawn station. That’s not true ... from a certain point of view. Willow Lawn has posted brand new “No Commuter Parking” signs all around the shopping center, so they’re pretty serious about that. There is abundant street parking on Byrd Street, north-bound, just short of Broad. That’s about 2 blocks from the station.

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2 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Anyone else try the Pulse yet?

Yup, also took a group out yesterday.  The mid-afternoon trips were completely packed while evening eased up considerably.  Signal priority definitely needs to be tweaked but overall the trip from Scott's Addition to Arts District was nearly as quick as driving.

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I took it yesterday from the Arts District stop to Staples  Mill (went to Lidl) and back. 

Trip out was packed (standing room only).  Trip back had maybe 12 people on it. 

I liked it.  Everyone was happy and friendly. 

I did have to wait nearly 30 minutes for the west bound bus. Not sure what that was about.  I got to the station at 6:30pm.  Maybe that’s after the service stops being every 15 minutes? 

Edited by Brent114
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It’s funny you say that. We waited longer than expected for our westbound trip at that station as well. When it showed up, there was another immediately behind it. Signal prioritization seemed to work better heading east as well. Still kinks to sort out.

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Rode it yesterday from Shockoe to Willow Lawn and back, left at about 1:15pm and took about 45 min to get to willow lawn and another 45 to get back to Shockoe.

It was packed, definitely some kinks to work out (timing, pulling up to the station more efficiently, etc.) which will likely come with time and practice. Stations were packed, buses were packed, I'd say if half of these people continue to use the Pulse regularly it'd be great success! 

I was surprised at how many red lights we stopped at, I was hoping the signally would have been better/more bus dominant. 

Also I didn't see any glass that was put up backwards or incorrectly. 

We can't use it for work, but the wife and I will definitely be using this to go out more to Broad Street or Scotts Addition. 

Edited by drayrichmond
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Took it from Willow Lawn to Government Center this morning. It’s a 10 minute walk from my house to the station. The ride itself was about 30 minutes. From what I’ve heard, the signal priority system depends on a robust sample size because it’s in large part predictive. So we’re not there yet. The driver was ultra cautious - pulled up to the stations slowly, drove slowly, tended to anticipate the ‘yellow light’ (triangle shape) and slow down prematurely. It is a bit frustrating when we get a red light 20 yards ahead of a station stop. Oh well. Working out the kinks. 

I was one of only about four on at WL. It got much fuller around SA.

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The glass isn’t backwards per se.  It just isn’t oriented in the direction of travel (seems to be an east bound issue).   So while Willow Lawn May be to the west, it appears in the east on the map.   But you can read it just fine. 

 

 

In other words, it appears that they used west bound glass on east bound stations... 

may have something to do with that door on only one side of the bus snafu? 

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It is a map thing, but public transit maps can be more intuitive and many are.   An arrow indicating direct of travel would be helpful.  

Out of town folks may start walking east from the VCU/VUU station trying to find the Fan.   I’m fine with the “maps” being  just decorative.  I was , however, expecting a more useful map elesewhere at the stations... when those leaning things went up this winter I thought “that’s where the map of the surrounding area will go” (like at subway stations...map of the train route then a street map of the immediate area) 

 

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12 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

I’m guessing that the buses are bunching up and causing some delays. Noticed it a few times but not sure why it is happening. 

That was it. Eighty minutes from the time I walked to Government Center to arrival at Willow Lawn. The lead bus took forever to get to GC; it was stopped at MCV for about 10 minutes (and of course was full). I got on the next bus, but the lead bus remained slow. It crawled into every stop. By the time we reached WL, there were 5 West-bound Pulse busses with a three block radius. Obviously, that wasn’t optimal. I won’t be a Chicken Little about it and am willing to attribute the delay to inexperienced drivers (anyone who’s seen the frayed rubber on the bus sides can see parking flush with the station requires an extra skill set). But there are some issues they’ll have to work through.

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9 hours ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

That was it. Eighty minutes from the time I walked to Government Center to arrival at Willow Lawn. The lead bus took forever to get to GC; it was stopped at MCV for about 10 minutes (and of course was full). I got on the next bus, but the lead bus remained slow. It crawled into every stop. By the time we reached WL, there were 5 West-bound Pulse busses with a three block radius. Obviously, that wasn’t optimal. I won’t be a Chicken Little about it and am willing to attribute the delay to inexperienced drivers (anyone who’s seen the frayed rubber on the bus sides can see parking flush with the station requires an extra skill set). But there are some issues they’ll have to work through.

I definitely noticed them bunching up in the early evening at Staples Mill Westbound.

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On 6/27/2018 at 3:49 PM, wrldcoupe4 said:

Pulse Ridership projection was 3500 riders per day. The estimate for Monday was 8700. 

Over 30,000 riders for the first 4 days! More than double the projection. It will probably taper when the costs kick in and still kinks to sort out, but seems like an early success story!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I rode the Pulse.  I enjoyed the right from Shockoe to Willow Lawn.  I tried it yesterday and there were a good number of people (mostly firsttime riders) onboard as well. 

 

I am a little disappointed though.  For starters, I don’t get why they pull up to the station obnoxiously slow.  If the idea is to be more efficient, then shouldn’t they be? 

The “new” bus I was on had the squeakiest breaks ever, so at every stop and at every light, I regretted not having brought my headphones. 

Speaking of lights...  I thought I had read that they would be synchronized and I thought that I understood that The Pulse had some sort of sensor that would allow lights to turn green upon approach?   That.  Never.  Happened.   The trip was just as long if not longer than the normal #6 ride.

Im happy to have the new system, but I hope the kinks are fixed quick.  

The positives for me:

the ride was cheap

there is a station two blocks from my apartment

the stations are very nice 

The system appears modern and exciting to have 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One other thing...

I hadn’t considered the station locations so much as they were planning and constructing, but a few of the stations further west (Willow Lawn included) seemed oddly placed.  

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