Tuesday, June 12, 2012

RVA Shoppers' Shuttle Provides Healthy Food Options for City Residents

Mayor Dwight C. Jones has announced that the monthly grocery shuttle offering transportation for Richmond residents will be extended for another six months. The monthly food shuttle will continue to run free of charge on the second and fourth of each month.

The courtesy shuttle is a pilot program that began in February as a transportation support system focused on areas deemed as food deserts – areas without easy access to healthy, nutritional, fresh food.  The areas focused on also have a high concentration of poverty and large populations without personal transportation.

“Providing access to healthy and fresh food options ties right in with the City’s healthy lifestyle focus, and based on the feedback that we’ve gotten over the first few months of this pilot, additional time to track results and measure interest will help us to determine the best course of action for the future,” said Mayor Jones. 

“There are several things we’d like to measure going forward,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Carolyn Graham.  “During Phase One of this pilot, we focused on public housing residents and senior citizens with limited mobility.  For Phase Two, we want to measure the need and responsiveness of areas with a large subsidized housing population. We also want to look at to what extent residents may be willing to pay a small fee for such a service; something akin to what people would pay for express bus services for other purposes. By extending the pilot time period, we can measure and analyze additional data as well as gauge to what degree there may be interest by City Council members to explore supporting such a service in those districts where there is a need.” 

The Shuttle serves the communities of Hillside Court, Fay Tower, Creighton Court, Fairfield, Mosby, Whitcomb, and Fulton.  The shuttle service grew out of preliminary recommendations of the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force.

Click below for a copy of each bus schedule.