TPAC Applications open now
Public transportation plays a vital role in connecting communities of the Roanoke Valley. To ensure that Valley Metro truly serves the needs of its users, it's crucial to establish channels for passenger input and engagement. One way we do this is through the Transit Passenger Advocacy Committee (or TPAC), a dedicated group of Valley Metro riders who represent the communities in our region and provides valuable feedback and recommendations to the GRTC Board of Directors on transit service, facilities, plans, and policies.
- Connecting Passengers with Decision Makers: The TPAC acts as a bridge between the passengers and Valley Metro staff. The TPAC provides a platform for passengers to voice their concerns, share experiences, and offer recommendations directly to Valley Metro. By establishing this direct line of communication, we gain valuable insights into the needs and expectations of riders, ensuring decisions are more responsive and reflective of the communities we serve.
- Enriching Transit Planning and Operations: The TPAC serves as a source of diverse perspectives and expertise. Committee members, representing different demographics and transit experiences, contribute to transit discussions and provide valuable feedback on transit service, facilities, plans, and policies. These insights help Valley Metro identify areas for improvement, consider innovative solutions, and make informed decisions that enhance the overall transit experience for all passengers.
- Fostering Collaboration and Trust: By actively involving passengers in the process, we are striving to foster collaboration and build trust between Valley Metro and its riders. When passengers see their input being considered and acted upon, it increases confidence in the agency's commitment to meeting their needs. We hope this collaborative approach helps to create a sense of ownership and shared responsibility, as passengers can actively contribute to the improvement of their transit system.
- Ensuring Equitable Transit Solutions: The TPAC prioritizes inclusivity by ensuring that the diverse needs of all transit users are considered. Committee members advocate for accessible facilities, equitable service distribution, and transportation solutions that cater to various demographics, including individuals with disabilities, senior citizens, students, and low-income communities. The TPAC’s recommendations have helped to shape policies and practices that promote equal access and improve the overall transit experience for everyone.
The TPAC serves as an invaluable resource for both passengers and Valley Metro. By providing a platform for direct passenger input, the TPAC facilitates meaningful dialogue, improves transit planning and operations, and creates an atmosphere of collaboration. By incorporating diverse perspectives, promoting inclusivity, and fostering transparency, Valley Metro can build a stronger, more customer-centric system that meets the evolving needs of the Roanoke Valley. Through the TPAC, Valley Metro seeks to take a step towards advancing a transportation network that truly serves the people it is designed for: the passengers.
If you are a Valley Metro rider and interested in joining the TPAC, please visit www.valleymetro.com/tpac www.valleymetro.com/tpac to fill out an application. You can also request a paper application at the information booth at Third Street Station and the reception desk at the Valley Metro administrative office. Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2023. New TPAC members will begin their terms in late 2023 or at the first meeting in 2024.
Third Street Station is now open!
After years of planning and construction, Third Street Station is open and operating. This modern facility marks a significant milestone in the transformation of transit in the Roanoke Valley. Like its predecessor at Campbell Court, the new transit center remains the central transfer hub of Valley Metro; however, Third Street Station leaves behind the facility that the system had outgrown.
The open-air facility allows for fresh air and additional lighting, a better fit for modern, longer buses, more service flexibility in the future, and the possibility of electric-charging equipment. Public information screens and automated bus pass machines will streamline the rider's experience. With easy access to downtown Roanoke, the Roanoke Amtrak platform, the NRV via Smart Way and beyond with Greyhound, Third Street Station will be a gateway to the Roanoke Valley for decades. There are many partners that have made this step forward possible. We are grateful for the hard work of Spectrum Design, MB Contractors, 5 Points Creative, the City of Roanoke, and, of course, the support of Valley Metro's riders. Here's to many more successful decades of transit in the Roanoke Valley!`
Two New Shelters in Vinton
On May 17, 2023 we celebrated the installation of two new shelters. The shelter on Virginia Avenue at PFG (opened on August 8) and the newest shelter on Hardy Road at Lake Drive Plaza (opened on March 29) were constructed and installed through the generosity, hard work, and collaboration of the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club, the Town of Vinton, Renaissance Contract Lighting & Furnishings, Joseph Wall with Prestige Building & Renovation, Precision Fabrics Group (PFG), Lake Drive Plaza Shopping Center ownership group, Grand True Value Rental of Vinton, First Four Petroleum, Rosie’s Gaming, and Valley Metro.
Shelters provide a more comfortable, safe, and convenient space for riders to wait for the bus. Both shelters have benches, trashcans, and solar-powered lighting. The shelter at Lake Drive Plaza includes a cart corral for shoppers taking the bus. We extend our gratitude to all these partners for their commitment to improving transit in our region.
Third Street Station Grand Opening!
After years of work and construction, Valley Metro will open Third Street Station in June. The opening timeline was moved from September 2023 to this summer thanks to mild winter weather and diligent work by our partners MB Contractors, Spectrum Design, and the City of Roanoke as well as Valley Metro staff. Construction is in the final stages, and we’ll be putting the final touches in place over the next few weeks.
To commemorate this occasion, Third Street Station (325 Salem Ave, SW) will host a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting on June 14 at 11am. The event is open to all. Please join us under the north canopy to celebrate this step forward for transit in the Roanoke Valley. Keep your eyes open for more information as we get closer to the event at www.valleymetro.com/grand-opening and follow us on Facebook.
Valley Metro Milestones
We are delighted to recognize outstanding employees who have demonstrated their commitment to Valley Metro through years of service.
Congratulations to Operator Charles Saunders for reaching a milestone of 50 years serving the Roanoke Valley. Charles started in transit in 1973, two years before Valley Metro was officially formed! Through the years at Valley Metro, his talents and efforts have been essential to our success. His dedication does not go unrecognized; we take pride in his accomplishment of 50 years.
In 2023, we also recognize other milestones: Operators Myron DeBerry and Arnetta Saunders for 48 years and 39 years of service, respectively. In our maintenance department, John Thompson and William Thompson have been with Valley Metro for 45 years and 41 years, respectively. We value the commitment of all our staff.
Let’s celebrate Charles, Myron, Arnetta, Johnny, and Wayne for their devotion to helping the Roanoke Valley get where it’s going!
Transit Equity Day Post
All Valley Metro buses will be fare free on Saturday, February 4, 2023 in honor of Transit Equity Day.
Transit Equity Day is recognized as a “National Day of Action” in honor of civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, on her birthday. In December of 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus. This sparked a citywide bus boycott resulting in the Supreme Court ruling that buses be integrated.
Valley Metro remembers Rosa Parks for her remarkable strength and bravery. Transit Equity Day promotes public transit as a civil right and a strategy to combat climate change.
VMGO has launched
IT’S OFFICIAL! Our app VMGO is now available for free at any app store. See your bus route, track any bus, and find estimated arrival times. VMGO provides up-to-the-minute alerts for each bus and route too. Visit www.vmgoapp.com or search VMGO at any app store to download today!
Third Street Station moves into Phase 2
Contruction at Third Street Station is now in phase 2. This phase shifts contruction from the building to the bus lanes and canopy along Norfolk Avenue. The building and the south canopy bus lanes are now open to the public. During phase 2, some buses will stop under the south canopy behind the building and some will stop along Salem Avenue in the front. Please see the signs at Third Street Station to find your bus.
Valley Metro Announces VMGO
Valley Metro is pleased to announce its new Real-time Transit Passenger Information (RTPI) service VMGO. Valley Metro’s VMGO RTPI service will be launched in two distinct phases – Phase I will provide real-time transit information for the Smart Way, Smart Way Express, and Star Line Trolley. The target go-live date is September 23rd . Phase II will provide real-time transit information for all Valley Metro services. The target for Phase II is Summer 2021.
VMGO will provide real-time bus stop departure times via a smartphone, personal computer, and by calling a dedicated landline phone number. The VMGO app for smartphone users can be downloaded at the Google Play store for Android users and App Store (iOS) for Apple users. Digital LED displays with transit bus stop information will be installed at higher volume bus stops. Please visit www.valleymetro.com or www.vmgoapp.com or call 540-982-2222 for more details about the new VMGO service.
2019 Art by Bus & Writer by Bus
Art by Bus & Writer by Bus information is available at the Ride Solutions website.
Art by Bus
Art On Bus
New Fare Boxes March 1, 2015
At last, an illustrated history of Roanoke streetcars!
A new history of Roanoke's streetcars has been published by the Historical Society of Western Virginia! The book, The Street Railways of Roanoke 1887-1948, contains more than 100 photos of Roanoke's streetcars in its 152 pages, priced at $14.95. It is now on sale in the gift shop on the first floor of Center in the Square and the Virginia Museum of Transportation gift shop.
James E. Dalmas, a Roanoke native and a graduate of Virginia Heights Elementary School, Jefferson High and Virginia Tech, is the author. He has researched streetcars in Roanoke and Baltimore for many years and he is a past president of Baltimore Streetcar Museum.
Take the Kids to the Library on a Valley Metro Bus
Find out about current activities and library events by calling the Main Roanoke Library at 853-2955 or check www.roanokeva.gov/library
Valley Metro wants to remind you and your family that a bus trip to the library is a great way to spend an afternoon! All seven of the city's libraries are accessible by bus. Please consult the following list for the one in your neighborhood:
- Bus 15 (Outbound to Valley View Mall) or Bus 16 (Inbound)
- Bus 85 (Outbound to Peter's Creek) or Bus 86 (Inbound)
Jackson Park Branch:
- Bus 41 (Outbound to SE Roanoke) or Bus 42 (Inbound)
**Bus 42 offers a direct stop, after it leaves the 9th Street Industrial Park at 8:55 and 11:55am, or 1:55 and 3:55pm