Richmond's public transport system is adequate, if not as advanced as those in bigger East Coast cities. Downtown Richmond and many of its surrounding neighbourhoods are quite walkable, and the city is also encouraging residents to cycle by building bike lanes and implementing bike-sharing programmes. That said, many Richmondians still prefer to own their own vehicle for the sake of convenience, especially parents who have kids to cart around, and outdoorsy types who like to explore further afield.
Public transport in Richmond
The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) runs the bus services in Richmond, but this system is mostly limited to the central areas and only serves small parts of the suburban counties. The far West End (Innsbrook and Short Pump) and almost all of Chesterfield County have no public transportation despite dense housing, retail and office development.
GRTC also runs an ever expanding rapid-bus system called the GRTC Pulse, which (for now) runs along Broad Street from Willow Lawn to Rocketts Landing, and provides a speedier commute.
Taxis in Richmond
There are several cab companies in Richmond. Taxis can be hailed on the street or at taxi ranks, but commuters who live in the suburbs will have to call and book a taxi in advance either by phone or app. Ride-hailing services are increasingly taking over the cab market thanks to their convenience and user-friendliness. These include Uber, Lyft and Bolt, among others.
Driving in Richmond
Newcomers to Richmond tend to buy their own set of wheels within the first few months of arrival. Cars aren't strictly necessary for those who live in downtown and central areas, but most suburbians own their own vehicles.
Traffic in Richmond is not as congested as in other major East Coast cities, but commuters will still have to plan carefully and factor in congestion in central areas. For commutes to surrounding areas, Richmond is pretty conveniently located at the intersection of several highways. The intersection includes the major north-south bound Interstate 95 and the east-west bound Interstate 64, and supported by Interstate 295 and Virginia State Route 288.
Those with a driver's licence from another state or country are usually allowed to drive in the US, as long as their licence remains valid. Those with licences in languages other than English should obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before the move.
Once a resident of Virginia, drivers should visit the Virginia DMV to obtain a local driver's licence.
Cycling in Richmond
The popularity of cycling is on the rise in Richmond, and the city is encouraging cycling with a continually growing bike-lane network. There are dedicated bike lanes all over downtown, and there's even a route all the way to Williamsburg called the Virginia Capital Trail.
Those who don't own a bike can make use of several bike-share programmes, which allow riders to pick up a (regular or electric) bike at stations all over the city and drop them at any station after their ride.