GRTC Transit System’s board of directors has decided to christen its planned bus rapid transit line running down Broad Street as the Pulse.
If it sounds like a middling, generic choice, well: In an online survey the agency conducted to gauge public preference, the Pulse was the fourth most popular, beating out only Blynk.
About 1,400 people participated, rating the five possible names on a scale of one to five, from not at all appealing to very appealing. None averaged higher than three.
The Pulse averaged 2.17 on the scale. Blynk was 1.5. The most popular name, the Rapid, scored 2.89. The remaining two, RVA Connex and the Current averaged 2.85 and 2.28 respectively.
GRTC spokeswoman Carrie Rose says the agency used the survey results to narrow the field to three choices and made an internal decision from there.
Steven McNally, who’s coordinating the project for the GRTC, says the name is meant to appeal to the city’s younger residents, evoking how the agency hopes the service will be like “the pulse of the city.” The logo features the city skyline drawn with a green line that suggests a heart-rate monitor.
McNally says the public’s top choice, the Rapid — a play on the falls of the James River at which Richmond was founded and the promised speed of the transit line — was rejected as too one-dimensional.
“We were trying to be more forward-thinking,” he says.
The name is less important than the quality of the service, says Charles Merritt, an organizer of RVA Rapid Transit, an independent advocate for rapid transit in the metro area.
“What really makes a strong brand is the experience people have with it,” Merritt says. “Our goal now is to provide as much community input into how that product and service is delivered so that it really does serve the needs of metro Richmond.”