New transportation partnership to reduce traffic on Michigan Street

Posted at 5:15 AM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 05:16:13-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids city commissioners have approved a new three-year pilot program that will dramatically increase bus service to help reduce traffic and ease parking congestion along the Michigan Street corridor.

The program is partnership with Spectrum Health and The Rapid.

“This is a great example of a creative public-private partnership that helps Grand Rapids move closer to being a more sustainable, safe and prosperous city by providing a full range of attractive transportation options and offering incentives to change travel behaviors,” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said.

The plan is said to significantly improve the Rapid’s Route 19 service that operates along the Medical Mile from Michigan Street, as well as a section of the near West Side between Bridge and Leonard streets.

“Enhanced transit operations along the Michigan Street corridor are critical to our efforts to accommodate the trend of increasing traffic, anticipate future land-use changes and support economic investment and new development in a vital business district,” Bliss said.

Starting August 27, bus Route 19 will operate as a no-fare service, meaning it will be free for people to ride. The bus route will also run longer, from 5:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. during the week, but not on weekends.

The Rapid also plans to increase the frequency the bus arrives and departs from the stops.