In the city once famous for implementing the nation’s first electric streetcar, streetcars may soon return to Broad St.

According to Richmond’s “top planner,” Rachel O. Flynn, the city and GRTC are working together to return trolleys to Broad St. But before they do that, they’ll begin piecemeal implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

They’ll start by creating a route of dedicated bus lanes with frequent charter-style buses running from downtown to Boulevard (hopefully in time for the new movie theater opening). Eventually, we should have BRT running into Henrico- both the east and west ends. BRT provides much faster transit than traditional buses by keeping them out of traffic, using signal-changing technology, and spreading out the stops a bit.

Preparing for BRT must be why bus lanes have been added to Broad St. downtown.

And the best news about implementing this transit improvement is that federal funding has been secured, which means there should be fewer reasons this project could get derailed.

And then- trolleys!

Of course, the TD is maddeningly sketchy on the details.

Why is implementing a trolley dependent on first developing BRT? For infrastructure reasons? Because of the federal grant?

What kind of trolley? Electric? Trackless?

Nevertheless, good news for Richmond transit! Finally some innovation, improvements, and change from GRTC.

For a does of realism to temper my enthusiasm here, read about “How biased numbers could kill mass transit in Richmond.”