DRPT Approves First Urban Transit Strategic Plan Adopted under New MERIT Program







DRPT: Haley Glynn
Phone: (804) 351-6647
E-mail: haley.glynn@drpt.virginia.gov  


GLTC: Natalie Wilkins
Phone: (434) 455-4010
E-mail: NWilkins@gltconline.com


 DRPT Approves First Urban Transit Strategic Plan 
Adopted under New MERIT Program

Pilot project with Greater Lynchburg Transit Company 
sets pace for urban transit agencies across Virginia


RICHMOND – On Wednesday, the Board of the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) approved its five-year strategic plan, the first plan developed under Virginia’s Making Efficient + Responsible Investments in Transit (MERIT) program, created in 2018 to bring major reform and accountability to public transportation funding statewide.


Administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) under its MERIT program and following enactment by the 2018 Virginia General Assembly of a series of comprehensive reforms, Transit Strategic Plans (TSPs) ensure that transit services are planned in a way that better meets the mobility needs of their communities, providing them the opportunity to evaluate and update services and networks to respond to changes in demand.


“Last year, DRPT began implementation of reforms designed to create greater accountability and transparency for our transit agencies,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “As one of our pilot programs, GLTC has developed a plan to address transit use, improve efficiency, and target opportunities to respond to the needs of all residents in the Lynchburg area, which is even more important during these unprecedented times.”


“The strategic planning process that was developed by DRPT and utilized by GLTC provided an open and transparent opportunity for the community to identify its highest priorities for transit service,” said DRPT Director Jennifer Mitchell. “This prioritization will serve as an important roadmap for GLTC to continue to move forward throughout the post-pandemic recovery.”


As transit systems with 20 or more vehicles in areas of 50,000 or more citizens, sixteen agencies across Virginia are now required to complete a TSP every five years. Recognizing the level of effort required to accomplish these goals, in 2019 DRPT announced a pilot program to assist the GLTC and Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) with completing the first TSPs in the Commonwealth.


“This was an opportunity for GLTC to look at our system strategically, re-examine the priorities of our stakeholders and riders, and make difficult choices concerning where and how to provide services in an efficient and cost effective manner. This document will be a critical guide for future service improvements that are efficient as we work to emerge and recover post COVID-19,” said Brian Booth, GLTC General Manager. “We thank DRPT for their visionary support and efforts to help us bring better and safer travel options to citizens and businesses of Lynchburg.”


More information on Transit Strategic Plans, as well as the overall MERIT program, may be found online at http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/transit/merit/.




About the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
DRPT’s mission is to improve the mobility of people and goods while expanding transportation choices in the Commonwealth through rail, public transportation, and commuter services. DRPT is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of its services on the basis of race, color, or national origin as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For additional information on DRPT’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures or to file a complaint, please contact the Title VI Compliance Officer, Mike Mucha, at (804) 786‐6794, TDD 711, or 600 E. Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219.