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The Rapid and partners improve "Medical Mile" service and promote free-fare route

Rapid Silver Line bus

Monday, July 30th the The Rapid is hosting an open house beginning at 11 AM at The Rapid Central Station. This is where the public will learn about upgrades to Route 19 along the “Medical Mile” to the near West Side.  The Rapid is also introducing free travel throughout downtown Grand Rapids.

The Rapid’s Route 19 runs along the Michigan Street corridor. Three partners are making upgrades enhancing service; The Rapid, the City of Grand Rapids and Spectrum Health. The Rapid wants to increase ridership. The city is promoting its Park Once plan. Get to work in your car, but use public transit throughout the day. Spectrum Health is looking to decrease Michigan Street traffic in front of its facilities and move its employees more efficiently.

The three partners are also behind free fares that go into effect August 27th.

“All the stations north of Wealthy Street so essentially the downtown loop of the Silver Line is in the No Fare Zone which is sponsored by the City of Grand Rapids.”

Michael Bulthuis is The Rapid’s marketing and communications manager.

“The city also pays for the Dash system which The Rapid also operates. So we have these two systems running concurrently and then this new Route 19 is really just an enhancement for the Michigan Street corridor, but ties into both of those systems, both the Silver Line and with Dash north on Michigan Street. So, it’s again, once you’re downtown it’s this ease of travel moving around downtown at no cost to the riders but the city pays for the Dash and the Silver Line. This new Route 19 is a partnership between the city and Spectrum Health in terms of the funding and also The Rapid. So, it’s roughly 40 percent is coming from each of our partners from Spectrum and from the city and then The Rapid will pick up the additional 20 percent of the line.”

During peak travel demand Route 19 buses will make stops every 10 minutes.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.