To assist people in getting to the new registrar’s office, GRTC is supplying shuttle buses to provide transportation to those who need to change their registration or vote early in-person.
GRTC is now offering free shuttle buses to the City of Richmond’s new Office of the General Registrar. The registrar’s office was moved to a larger space at 2134 West Laburnum Ave. in an effort to promote social distancing. At the registrar’s office, one can change their registration or vote early in-person.
Shortly after the move, it became increasingly clear that the office was not the most accessible by bus. Previously, if one wanted to get to the registrar’s office, it would mostly likely consist of several bus transfers — and, at the very least, a half-mile walk from the closest bus stop.
Now with the shuttle buses, riders can get to the office in about 30 minutes. Services operate hourly and run Monday through Friday starting at 7:45am, with the last departure from the registrar’s office being 5:15pm. Additionally, the shuttle will run on two Saturdays: October 24 and 31 from 8:45am to 5:15pm. Like most other GRTC services during this time, the shuttle is free to use and requires a mask to board.
There are two bus stops one can use to board the shuttle bus. The first is bus stop 2522, located at 9th and Marshall, next to City Hall. The second is bus stop 460, located at the corner of Robinson St. and Broad St. in front of the Science Museum of Virginia.
While on a ride to the registrar’s office, GRTC Director of Communications Carrie Rose Pace pointed out some reasons that a regular bus wouldn’t be able to get the office: first, there’s a narrow opening of a street median that a GRTC bus is too wide to enter; and second, the parking lot of the registrar’s office is virtually unnavigable for a standard bus. Thus, a smaller and nimbler shuttle bus was required for the job.
All of this makes it possible for those who do not have their own mode of transportation to vote early in-person. Voting early, whether by mail or in-person, is something that many Virginians are already taking advantage of. In fact, Virginia has recently broken records for early voting, and according to Pace, it’s important that everyone has that right.
“Our job is to transport customers to where they need to be,” she said, “and if voters need access to this building, then GRTC is going to meet that need.”
Pace isn’t the only one who sees the importance of making sure everyone has the ability to vote. Jack Sharpe, a volunteer for a church, drives a shuttle bus of his own to transport people to the registrar’s office. Sharpe is glad that GRTC is supplying shuttle buses.
“It’s important that we make sure that anyone who wants to can vote,” he said.
The last day to vote early in-person is October 31.