With the snip of the shears, affordable and convenient public transportation in Radford became a reality.
Officials from Radford University, the City of Radford, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) and about 100 guests officially opened Radford Transit (RT) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 12 at the city’s Public Safety and Administration Building.
Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle hailed the new service as one “that will bring benefits to us all, far and wide” and a step toward “a much greener way to live our lives.” Radford Mayor Bruce Brown called the service “a statement of the value we place on extending linkages to our community” and a modern addition to the city’s history as a transportation hub.
VDRPT Director Thelma Drake, whose office was instrumental in preparing and funding the initiative, said, “Consumers like choices, as we all know, and now citizens and students in Radford have a safe, reliable transportation option.” A feasibility study in early 2009 demonstrated the public need and support for a public bus system. Its implementation was made possible by a $1.7 million VDRPT grant.
The five-route, 100-stop transit service, operated by the Community Transit Division of the New River Valley Community Services Board, will soon connect the university community and citizens of Radford to transit systems across the New River Valley. Bus service began on RT’s Cross City and New River Rapid routes on Aug. 8 and on the University Express and Highlander Circulator routes on Aug. 15. Radford Transit is expected to be in full service by Aug. 29.
Through Aug. 31, all RT rides are free. Once the service is fully operational, it will remain free to university students, faculty and staff with a valid identification card. The fare for the general public will be $1 and free for children under 12. Routes, stops and timetables can be found at the Radford Transit website. Riders can also check Radford Transit’s Facebook and Twitter pages for information and updates.