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Service, route changes coming to The Rapid this Monday

The Rapid
Posted at 12:38 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 12:38:57-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Rapid will implement schedule and service changes Monday, Aug. 30 recommended by the Mobility for All project.

Many of the changes are focused on buses running more frequently on The Rapid’s busiest routes, improving the on-time performance of all routes, creating easier transfers between routes and providing better connections to high-demand destinations, according to a news release Friday.

The service changes are the result of about two years of analysis and public outreach since Fall 2019, including:

  • More than 70 meetings with community partners, stakeholders and individuals
  • Multiple surveys garnering more than 900 responses
  • Extensive local study and benchmarking with similar transit systems, including:
  • Ridership and land use analysis (pre-pandemic and throughout 2020 and 2021)
  • Regional travel pattern analysis (including pre-pandemic and 2020 data)
  • Employment, residential and retail development analysis

Customers will be able to ride The Rapid for free Monday and Tuesday as part of an effort to help them adjust to new schedules and some new routing.

Wave card users will still be asked to tap their cards to track ridership, but no funds will be charged from their cards.

Mobility for All is based on a budget-neutral scenario, meaning no increase in local operational funding will be needed.

“The service plan that will be implemented on Monday is the result of exhaustive study and public feedback, and we’re confident that the changes being made will provide better service overall to the residents of the entire six-city area,” said Max Dillivan, senior planner and project manager for Mobility for All. “We’re excited to be offering two days of free rides to help customers transition to new schedules and adjusted routes.”

Six of the busiest routes will run every 15 minutes on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rapid officials say that translates into 136,000 more area residents and 67,000 more area jobs being located with a quarter mile of 15-minute service.

In addition, new connections to high-demand destinations will be created at the Plainfield Meijer store, Rivertown Mall, as well as Ivanrest Avenue and Gezon Parkway.

To alert customers of the upcoming changes, The Rapid has:

  • Provided free schedule books at Rapid Central Station and on buses
  • Placed English and Spanish brochures on all buses
  • Posted notifications at the more than 500 bus stops that will have a new schedule or adjusted routing
  • Sent direct service alerts and email notifications to all Rapid subscribers
  • Sent direct mail notifications to more than 3,000 households and businesses on affected routes