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Getting around ArtPrize: Your guide to parking, public transportation

ArtPrize runs September 14 through October 1
Parking Meter
Posted at 11:15 AM, Sep 14, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you're heading to ArtPrize over the next few weeks, there are tons of ways to get around and avoid moving your car from one part of downtown to another.

Parking around downtown Grand Rapids can be expensive. "The Rapid" aims to provide an easy and affordable way to get around.

Your guide to getting around ArtPrize

"You're not going to find anything more affordable than taking transit," The Rapid's Digital Media Specialist Cassi Cooper said.

She says there are two options— The DASH and The Rapid.

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The DASH is a system of small buses with routes contained to just the downtown area. DASH buses are free and hit several major landmarks throughout downtown Grand Rapids, including Rosa Parks Circle and the Government Center. Routes goes as far south as Logan Street and as far north as Leonard.

The DASH Routes in Grand Rapids

DASH buses stop about every 15 minutes— running in both clockwise and counterclockwise routes.

Your other option is The Rapid, which costs $1.75 per ride, with a cap of $3.50 a day. And now, you can pay with just one tap.

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"Now, much like at the grocery store, you could just use your phone, debit or credit cards, smartwatches, and just tap and ride through our whole system," Cooper explained.

To see the full map of routes, head over to ridetherapid.org, hover over "schedules and maps," then click on system map.

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The Rapid provides easy access to downtown Grand Rapids

Here, you can see there are Rapid stops outside of the downtown area allowing you to commute into the city.

There are also several park and rides with stops at just about every Meijer store in the greater Grand Rapids area.

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The Rapid provides easy access to downtown Grand Rapids

Cooper also encourages people to use the trip planner. It gives you a series of options based on your starting address and ending location.

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The Rapid provides easy access to downtown Grand Rapids

You can also download the free "Transit" app to have those options directly on your phone.

"It's the most user friendly app," Cooper said.

She added that it doesn't just show you bus routes, but also Uber, Lyft and Lime scotters and bikes, as well.

"That's just going to be the the simplest way for residents and people who aren't familiar to get around."

TRANSIT APP

The first buses leave around 5:45 a.m. and the last bus runs around 10:45 p.m.

"I'd say the biggest thing is making sure you are actively listening for the audio announcements," Cooper said. "It will announce your stop. There's a screen towards the front of the bus that will also digitally display your upcoming stop."

She also says to make sure you pull the cord at least a block or two before your stop to alert the driver.

Another way to zip around the city is on a Lime scooter or bike.

The city is partnering with Lime to send push notifications with safety reminders, including no riding on sidewalks, always ride with other traffic, follow normal rules of the road— signs and lane markings— wear a helmet, yield to pedestrians and you need to be at least 18 years old to ride.

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If you're zipping around, you shouldn't run into too many roadblocks.

"There's not going to be any event-specific road closures," Mobile GR Assistant Director Jennifer Kasper explained.

She added that there are still road closures throughout the city that are tied to ongoing construction projects, but no closures because of ArtPrize.

The only thing, she noted, is that Monroe Center will be closed because of the Honda Exhibit.

There are also parking lots over on the west side of the river near the YMCA that are $3 and $4 and those lots will have DASH bus stops.

As always, you can park in any of the lots downtown or take your chances with metered street parking.

This year, there's almost 700 ArtPrize entries.

The festival starts September 14 and runs through October 1.

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