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GRTC to resume bus service Monday after rioters torch bus

'We are closely monitoring this evolving situation in Richmond'
Posted at 2:45 PM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 23:15:29-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- GRTC officials said services will resume Monday at 8 a.m. after bus routes were suspended Saturday night through the weekend after rioters set a Plus bus on fire early Saturday morning in downtown Richmond.

GRTC will resume all regular service, including CARE, at 8AM Monday, June 1 and operate until 6PM Monday," a GRTC spokesperson said. "There will be no evening service Monday."

GRTC said it will operate this week only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

"There may be service delays or changes as conditions warrant, officials said.

GRTC CEO Julie Timm said the safety of staff and passengers is paramount.

"We can replace property, but we can’t replace people," Timm said "I also believe it is important for GRTC to make space for people to protest this weekend without endangering our GRTC Family members. We are closely monitoring this evolving situation in Richmond and will only provide service when we determine it is safe.”

No employees or passengers were injured, but officials said the 2004 Pulse bus set on fire was a total loss.

“I am deeply proud of the quick action of our operations team last night to protect the lives of our employees and customers," Timm said. "I am especially grateful our Pulse operator is safe and managed a terrifying situation as safely and calmly as possible. I commend them for their professionalism and situational awareness. Today we have Supervisor mobile units focused in the Downtown area to monitor for any potential resurgence of protest activity.”

Officials said virtual counseling is available for GRTC employees.

GRTC service was delayed until 9 a.m. Saturday after a night of protest turned into a destructive riot in Richmond when a Plus bus was set ablaze at the corner of Broad Street in Belvidere in downtown Richmond.

What began as a peaceful protest in Monroe Park on Friday night ended with the bus fire and hundreds of people marching in the streets to protest George Floyd's death and displays of police brutality towards African Americans across the country.

In addition to the GRTC bus fire, a Richmond Police car was set on fire and windows were broken at Richmond Police Headquarters on Grace Street.