kids encyclopedia robot

Greater Richmond Transit Company facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
GRTC Transit System
GRTC logo.svg
Founded 1860
Headquarters 301 East Belt Boulevard
Locale Richmond, Virginia
Service area Richmond, Virginia
Service type bus service, paratransit
Alliance Petersburg Area Transit
Routes 34 local routes
10 express routes
1 rapid transit line
Fleet 253 buses & vans
Fuel type diesel and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)
Operator First Transit (Care Vans only)
Chief executive Julie Timm
Website GRTC Transit System

The Greater Richmond Transit Company, known locally as GRTC Transit System, is a local government-owned public service company which operates an urban-suburban bus line based in Richmond, Virginia.

GRTC primarily serves the independent city of Richmond and a very small portion of the adjacent counties of Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield with a fleet of over 157 diesel-powered and CNG-powered transit buses operating approximately 45 routes.

GRTC uses government-funded equipment and resources principally provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT), and local funds. It also maintains equipment and has other affiliations with Petersburg Area Transit, a similar agency which also serves a portion of Chesterfield County.

Ownership and management

As a public service company, GRTC is owned equally by the City of Richmond and neighboring Chesterfield County. Henrico County currently purchases services from it, but holds no ownership interest.

It is managed by a private transit management company that provides the CEO, COO, and Transportation Manager, as was its predecessor, Virginia Transit Company (VTC). GRTC itself has 400 employees.

Ownership history

In 1860, Richmond Railway was organized, beginning operations in August. The service was forced to stop for nearly 2 years during the Civil War.

In 1866, Joseph Jackson, Jr., acquired control and resumed operations.

In 1881, it was sold to Richmond City Railway Company.

In 1887, The Richmond City Council adopted an ordinance granting a franchise to the Richmond Union Passenger Railway Company to operate a street railway system. Ground was broken for laying rail.

In 1888, Frank Sprague installed a complete system of electric streetcars in Richmond, Virginia. This was the first large scale and successful use of electricity to run a city's entire system of streetcars. Operation of streetcars continued until they were totally replaced by buses in 1949.

In 1925, Virginia Railway and Power company bought the transit system.

In 1944, the Securities and Exchange Commission directed Virginia Electric and Power company to confine its activities to the electricity business.

In 1944, the Richmond transit bus system (and a similar one in Norfolk) was purchased by VTC, which became part of the United Transit Company the next year. After World War II, public transit systems in the United States became unprofitable, and most were eventually converted to government-owned and funded operations. This trend included Virginia Transit Company operations in Richmond and Norfolk.

In 1947, the Main Street and Westhampton streetcar lines are motorized. Virginia Transit Company began conversion to motor buses.

In 1949, Buses replace electric trolleys. On November 25, 1949, ten streetcars make the last run.

In 1962, American Transportation Enterprises, Inc., acquired controlling interest in United Transit Company.

In 1972, federal, state and local funds were used to purchase the assets of the Virginia Transit Company, and a new public service company was set up, GRTC, which was wholly owned by the City of Richmond. A one-half interest was later purchased by Chesterfield County in the late 1980s. Henrico County declined to purchase a portion at that time.

Management history

Immediately after GRTC was formed, American Transportation Enterprises, Inc., through a subsidiary, continued to provide management.


The GRTC bus garage, is near the intersection of Belt Boulevard and Midlothian Turnpike in South Richmond.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Greater Richmond Transit Company Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.