On June 18, 2019, Jarrett Walker + Associates released a memo showing that the GRTC Reroute, implemented in the summer of 2018, has
- increased by 6% the number of jobs that the average resident can reach in 45 minutes
- increased by 10% the number of jobs that low-income or minority resident can reach in 45 minutes.
Quite simply, Richmond’s bus network is now useful to more people to go more places in a reasonable amount of time. While our calculation uses jobs because they are easiest to count, access to many other opportunities (shopping, medical, social) has almost certainly also improved.
Even in the context of their assumptions, the most striking numerical findings in the CURA report are incorrect, the result of basic calculation errors. For example:
- CURA used a roadway network that excluded many potential walking paths. As a result, they calculated many walks as being longer than they actually are.
- CURA excluded large parcels on the edge of their miscalculated walking distance areas entirely, even if only a small portion of the parcel was outside the walk area.
- CURA made manual adjustments to the results for dwelling units in low income areas to attempt to address the large parcel problem but only for the old bus system and not for the new one, thus skewing the results in favor of the old network.
Our memo documents these and numerous other calculation errors and methodology flaws in the CURA report, and shows that the report’s conclusions have no validity as a basis for public policy.