Interurban Transit Partnership

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For the rail system in Cleveland, Ohio, see RTA Rapid Transit.
Slogan Ride The Rapid
Founded 1963
Headquarters 300 Ellsworth SW
Locale Grand Rapids, MI
Service area Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming, Alpine Township, Byron Township, Gaines Township, Grand Rapids Township, Comstock Park
Service type bus service, paratransit, bus rapid transit
Routes 24
Hubs The Rapid Central Station
Stations Kentwood Station, 33 Bus Rapid Transit
Fleet 129 Gillig Low Floor, Diesel Hybrid-Electric
Daily ridership 43,800 (4th Quarter 2013)[1]
Fuel type Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel, Diesel Hybrid-Electric
Operator Interurban Transit Partnership-The Rapid
Chief executive Peter Varga


The Interurban Transit Partnership operates a public transport system called The Rapid, which provides bus service to the Grand Rapids, Michigan metropolitan area and beyond. The Rapid was recognized in 2004 by receipt from the American Public Transportation Association of an "Outstanding Public Transportation System Award".[2]

Formed by the City of Grand Rapids in 1963 as the Grand Rapids Transit Authority, the system became a regional authority in July 1978 and was renamed the Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority, or GRATA. In January 2000, the ITP was formed, which soon adopted the moniker, The Rapid, as its branding.[3]


In September 2006, The Rapid unveiled a new look for the buses to match the design of the Central Station platform which opened in 2004. The older red, blue and yellow striped buses will be replaced over the next few years with the new design, which features waves of white and blue.

A new website was launched shortly after the new buses were introduced. New features of the website include e-mail updates by route as well as other services, and the ability to buy passes online.

Service area[edit]

Aside from the City of Grand Rapids, the system also serves the cities of East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, and Wyoming. Some routes extend into neighboring townships including Alpine Township (route 9), Byron Township (route 1), Gaines Township (route 4), and Grand Rapids Township (route 15).


The Rapid operates 24 fixed bus routes, and special services for Grand Valley State University (with a stop at Grand Rapids Community College on one route) and Ferris State University (see below).

Rapid Central Station[edit]

Address: 250 Grandville Ave SW
Coordinates:42°57′28″N 85°40′21″W / 42.95778°N 85.67250°W / 42.95778; -85.67250Coordinates: 42°57′28″N 85°40′21″W / 42.95778°N 85.67250°W / 42.95778; -85.67250
Facilities: Opened in June 2004, the transit center is the main downtown hub for the transit system. The facility is also used by Greyhound Lines and Indian Trails for bus services to destinations outside the city. The Rapid Central Station is the first LEED-NC certified building in the United States in the market of Mass Transit. More information is available at the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan page on the bus line's Central Station. DK Security is currently contracted as uniform security for the Central Station.

Silver Line[edit]

The Silver Line. a proposed 9.1-mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, was approved by voters in May 2012. On October 18, 2012, Federal Transit Administration Peter Rogoff visited The Rapid Central Station to sign a project construction grant agreement. Silverline will be the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in the State of Michigan. The line will run from Central Station through the Medical Mile on Michigan St. which eventually finds its way onto Division Ave. all the way to 60th St. where it terminates. Silverline will cost $40 Million. $32 Million will be covered by Federal Transit Administration with the rest being funded by Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Construction is planned for spring of 2013 with completion scheduled for the summer of 2014. Silverline is expected to begin service in August 2014. Passengers will be able to travel from 60th St. through the Medical Mile to Central Station in 27 mins.


Routes 1 through 16 and 18 through 19 stop at Rapid Central Station, as well as route 50 GVSU Connector (evenings and weekends), and South Dash. Southbound routes connect passengers to the three crosstown routes 24, 28, and 44. Routes 8 and 18 provide access to Amtrak with stops near the Wealthy and Market intersection.

On December 18, 2006, the Rivertown Crossings Mall bus stop was moved away from the entrance by Sears to near the entrance under the Celebration Cinema! (formerly Cinemark) building where there is a parking lot. The nearby Meijer was added to route 8 because the bus stop was moved on November 20, 2006.[4] The table shows Rivertown Mall and the nearby Meijer as an endpoint for routes 8 and 44. Meijer serves as the terminal point.

The Rapid bus routes (as of August 25, 2014)[5]
Number Route Endpoint Endpoint Notes
SL Silver Line 60th Street Park N' Ride Central Station Local service provided by Route 1.
1 Division 54th Street Meijer Central Station
2 Kalamazoo Kentwood City Hall Central Station Interlined with Route 9 on Saturdays
3 Madison Hope Network Central Station
4 Eastern Gaines Twp Meijer Central Station Interlined with Route 6 on Saturdays and Route 9 on Sundays
5 Wealthy/Woodland Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station) Central Station Interlined with Route 15 on Saturdays
6 Eastown/Woodland Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station) Central Station Interlined with Route 4 on Saturdays
7 West Leonard Meijer (Standale) Central Station Interlined with Route 15 on weekdays
8 Grandville/Rivertown Crossings RiverTown Mall/Meijer Central Station
9 Alpine Alpine Walmart Central Station
10 Clyde Park 54th St. Meijer Central Station Interlined with Route 16 on Sundays
11 Plainfield Plainfield/Elmdale Central Station
12 West Fulton Standale Meijer Central Station Interlined with Route 13 during Weekday mid-day
13 Michigan/North Fuller Michigan Veterans Facility Central Station Interlined with Route 19 during Weekday peak and Route 12 mid-day
14 East Fulton Leonard/Ball Central Station
15 East Leonard Knapp's Corner (GR Twp.) Central Station Interlined with Route 7 on weekdays and Route 5 on Saturdays
16 Wyoming/MetroHealth MetroHealth Central Station Interlined with Route 8 on Saturdays and Route 10 on Sundays
17 Woodland/Airport Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station) Gerald R. Ford International Airport (Cascade Twp.) Interlined with Route 44
18 Westside Lake Michigan at Covell Central Station
19 Michigan/South Fuller (Peak Only) Hall Street at Madison Ave Central Station Interlined with Route 13
24 Burton Grandville Library Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station)
28 28th Street Grandville Library 29th St./Acquest (Kentwood)
37 GVSU North Campus Express Kirkhof Center
44 44th Street Rivertown Walmart Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station) Interlined with Route 17 on weekdays
48 GVSU South Campus Express Kirkhof Center
50 GVSU Campus Connector GVSU Allendale Campus GVSU Downtown Campus
50 GVSU Weekend Connector GVSU Allendale Campus Central Station
51 GVSU Health Sciences Center for Health Sciences GVSU Downtown Campus
60 GRCC GRCC Main Campus GRCC Sneden Center
100 Ferris State Express Central Station Ferris State University

During the school year, additional routes are used to serve students in the Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) district. As of October 2005, there is a GRPS shuttle to after school programs at the downtown David D. Hunting Branch of the YMCA.

Grand Valley State University[edit]

All Grand Valley State University students, faculty, and staff can ride the buses for free. All others pay regular fare, except for route 51, which is a free DASH route.[6] As of Summer 2009:

  • Route 50 Campus Connector runs Monday-Friday from Kirkhof Center at the Allendale Campus to a bus stop under US-131 at Mount Vernon and Front at the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Beginning the Fall 2012 semester, the Route 50 will also stop at Central Station.[7]
  • Route 51 (Dash to the Hill) / CHS Express runs weekdays between a stop at Lake Michigan Dr. and Seward NW and the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences at Michigan NE and LaFayette NE. Because it's part of the City of Grand Rapids DASH system, anybody can ride this bus for free, not just GVSU students, faculty and staff.
  • Route 37 Off-Campus Apartment Shuttle runs weekdays through the Allendale campus to apartments on Lake Michigan Drive and 48th Ave. This route was broken up to form the new Routes 37 & 48. It previously went on Luce (Pierce St. until Fall 2006).
  • Route 48 South Campus Express runs Monday through Thursday and Friday afternoon from Kirkhof Center to the South Apartments near 48th Ave. and Pierce St and back. It was new for Fall 2007.
  • Route 50 Weekend Connector runs Friday evenings and weekends and is a combination of the above routes. It stops at Central Station, at which time riders can transfer to other routes. From 2004 to 2006, the bus traveled to RiverTown Crossings via Jenison on Saturday and Sunday. The Weekend Connector does not run during the Spring/Summer semester.

Grand Rapids Community College[edit]

Grand Rapids Community College provides route number 60, a shuttle bus connecting the school's main campus with the nearby DeVos campus. Stops are located in front of Sneden Hall at the DeVos campus, and at Fountain and Bostwick at the main campus. The bus is free for GRCC students and employees, and runs Monday through Thursday during the Fall and Winter semesters.

Ferris State University[edit]

Ferris State University contracts with The Rapid of Grand Rapids to provide shuttle bus service from Grand Rapids to Big Rapids. The Rapid has assigned route number 100 entitled "Ferris State Express" for this route. The shuttle bus originates in downtown Grand Rapids at The Rapid's central station located at 250 Grandville Ave. SW. The route to and from Ferris' main campus in Big Rapids includes stops near Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids and the Cedar Springs Meijer (3700 17 Mile Road). Standard Rapid tickets are not valid on this route, special fares apply.

Davenport University[edit]

Route 49, the Davenport Express, served Davenport University from Fall, 2005 to the beginning of the scholastic year 2010-11. When the bus service was in operation, it stopped at Central Station, the Davenport Fulton St. Campus, Centerpointe and Woodland Malls, and the Davenport Lettinga Campus, Monday through Friday. However, upon closure of the Davenport University Fulton campus, Davenport University has since opted for a charter bus service, which the school outsources. This service is called the Davenport Shuttle and has a schedule based on student needs.[8]

Additional Services[edit]

Other services provided by the ITP include:

  • Car and Vanpooling Assistance — For carpools, the service matches people who make arrangements based on similar work schedules and travel patterns. For vanpools, employees can use The Rapid minivans to get to work.
  • County Connection — Provides transportation in all of Kent County, Michigan.
  • Dash (Downtown Area Shuttle) Lot Service Under contract to the city of Grand Rapids, ITP maintains and operates the buses for the city along three routes: South, West, and To the Hill. The city operates the parking lots Dash serves. The Dash To the Hill route serves Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University as route 51.
  • GO!Bus — Provides transportation for those with disabilities.
  • Grand Rapids Air Porter — A new service as of January 2006. This shuttle runs between the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and several hotels in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • PASS — Curb-to-curb service. Provides transportation into specific neighborhoods where there is low concentration of bus routes.

Future Services[edit]

The Rapid has announced a new vision for new services to be in place by the year 2030. Proposed Services include a downtown streetcar system, Bus Rapid Transit along Lake Michigan Drive and Silverline on Division Avenue (Construction begins in spring of 2013),expanded routes to Byron Center and eastern Ottawa County's Georgetown Township and the city of Hudsonville. A regional express bus service is also under consideration that would provide shuttle service from outlying areas into downtown Grand Rapids.[9]


  1. ^ "Fourth Quarter 2013". Public Transportation Ridership Report. American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  2. ^ American Public Transportation Association (13 October 2004). "Interurban Transit Partnership Receives National Recognition As APTA 2004 Outstanding Public Transportation System". Archived from the original on 2006-03-25. Retrieved 2006-01-05. 
  3. ^ Interurban Transit Partnership (12 February 2004). "The Rapid History". Archived from the original on 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2006-01-05. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "System Map". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Grand Valley State University Bus System
  7. ^ "Bus Route 50 - GVSU Campus Connector Weekday". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Shuttle Service Information
  9. ^

External links[edit]