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Increased number of Air Quality Action Days depletes funds for The Rapid’s free bus ride offering

Rapid Silver Line bus

An unprecedented increase in Air Quality Action Days caused by wildfires this year has left funding for The Rapid’s free bus ride offering depleted.

In a statement made via Facebook on Monday, the Grand Rapids transportation service apologized for confusion after announcing it would offer free bus rides for an Air Quality Action Day.

The offering is made available through Congestion and Air Quality funds and is typically used on Air Quality Action Days.

“We would like to extend our sincerest apologies for any confusion caused today around free bus rides,” the Facebook post read. “We were notified of an Air Quality Action Day taking place last night and had scheduled messaging accordingly. However, we regret to inform you that due to depleted funding, we were unable to fulfill our plans for the day. The Rapid is awarded a certain amount of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds annually through our partnership with Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. Unfortunately, this year's unprecedented increase in Air Quality Days, caused by the widespread wildfires, led to the depletion of our funds.”

The Rapid said funds will be replenished at the end of August next month and in the meantime, the bus service said it’s working to determine a solution until then.

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