Interurban Transit Partnership

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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, Comstock Park
Service type bus service, paratransit, bus rapid transit
Routes 23
Destinations Vernon J. Ehlers Station, DeltaPlex, DeVos Place, Fulton St Market, Gerald Ford Airport, GRAM, John Ball Zoo, Van Andel Arena
Hubs Rapid Central Station, Kentwood Station
Stations 33 Bus Rapid Transit
Fleet 129 Gillig Low Floor, Diesel Hybrid-Electric
Daily ridership 48,700 (1st Quarter 2015)[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 transit 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), and Gaines Township (route 4).


The Rapid operates 23 fixed bus routes, and special services for Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College 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. As of October 27, 2014, the new Grand Rapids Amtrak station offers inter-modal transit connections, lying immediately south of the bus station.

Bus rapid transit[edit]

Silver Line[edit]

View of southbound Mercy Health Silver Line station across Jefferson Avenue, with Cathedral of St Andrew in the background.

Silver Line. a 9.1-mile (14.6 km) 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. Silver Line is the first bus rapid transit (BRT) line in the state of Michigan. The line runs from Central Station, loops downtown via the Medical Mile on Michigan Street and serves Division Avenue from Wealthy Street all the way to 60th Street where it terminates. The Silver Line had budgeted costs of $40 Million. $32 Million was covered by the Federal Transit Administration with the rest funded by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Construction started in early 2013, was completed as scheduled during the middle of 2014 and was under budget by over $3 million. The Silver Line began service on August 25, 2014.

Laker Line[edit]

Laker Line is a proposed 13.1-mile (21.1 km) BRT line designed to ferry Grand Valley State University students between its main campus located in Allendale and Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. The Rapid was awarded a $600,000 grant to study the feasibility of implementing BRT along the Lake Michigan Avenue corridor spanning the cities of Walker, Standale and Grand Rapids. Planners hope to have Laker Line operational by 2018. Funding will come from both federal and state sources. 14 stations will make up the line with 13 buses using dedicated lanes. Capital cost expected is $45.5 million which includes buses and stations. The expected annual operating cost is $3.8 million.

From August 31 2015, the standard bus route 50 - planned to be replaced by the Laker Line - changed its routing to follow the proposed BRT route as far as the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences on Michigan/Lafayette.


Routes 1 through 16 and 18, along with the Silver Line BRT, stop at Rapid Central Station. Since changes to the DASH service on Sep 1 2016, the nearest DASH stop is now out of convenient range of the station. Outbound routes connect passengers to the four crosstown routes 19 (peak hours only), 24, 28, and 44.

Service times[edit]

Most buses operate seven days a week. Routes 3, 5, 12, 13, 14, 18, 24 and 44 do not operate on Sundays. Route 17 only runs weekdays. Route 19 only runs weekday peak times. Weekday service is from around 4.30-6am until after 11pm or midnight. Saturday service is between around 6am-9pm, Sundays are between around 7am-6pm.

To aid scheduling, some routes "interline". This means that a specific vehicle will serve multiple routes as part of its scheduled run by that driver. For example, on weekdays, route 7 arrives at Central Station and continues as the 15.

The Rapid bus routes (as of August 31, 2015)[4]
Number Route Endpoint Endpoint M–F Sat Sun Notes
SL Silver Line 60th Street Park N' Ride Central Station 10-30 30 60 Local service (Wealthy-54th) provided by Route 1.
1 Division 54th Street Meijer Central Station 30 30 30
2 Kalamazoo Kentwood City Hall Central Station 15-30 30-60 30 15-minute service only to 28th Street Meijer
Interlined with Route 9 on Saturdays
3 Madison Hope Network Central Station 30-60 60 none
4 Eastern Gaines Township Meijer Central Station 15-30 30-60 60 15-minute service only to 28th Street
Interlined with Route 6 on Saturdays and Route 9 on Sundays
5 Wealthy/Woodland Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station)
Peak extension to 33rd/Patterson
Central Station 15-60 60 none 15-minute service only to Breton Village
Interlined with Routes 7 & 15 on Saturdays
6 Eastown/Woodland Woodland Mall (Kentwood Station) Central Station 15-30 30-60 60 Interlined with Route 4 on Saturdays
7 West Leonard Meijer (Standale) Central Station 15-60 60 60 Interlined with Route 15 on weekdays, and 15 & 5 on Saturdays
8 Grandville/Rivertown Crossings Rivertown Mall/Meijer Central Station 15-60 60 60 15-minute service only to Goodwill
9 Alpine Alpine Walmart Central Station 15-30 30-60 60 15-minute service only to Greenridge Mall
10 Clyde Park 54th St. Meijer Central Station 30-60 60 60 Interlined with Route 16 on Sundays
11 Plainfield Plainfield/Elmdale Central Station 15-30 60 60
12 West Fulton Standale Meijer Central Station 30-60 60 none Interlined with Route 13 during Weekday mid-day
13 Michigan/North Fuller Michigan Veterans Facility Central Station 30-60 60 none Shares 15-minute peak service along Michigan with route 19
Interlined occasionally with Route 12
14 East Fulton Leonard/Ball Central Station 30-60 60 none
15 East Leonard Knapp's Corner Central Station 15-60 60 60 Interlined with Route 7 on weekdays and Routes 5 & 7 on Saturdays
16 Wyoming/MetroHealth MetroHealth Central Station 30-60 60 60 Interlined with Route 8 on Saturdays and Route 10 on Sundays
17 Woodland/Airport Woodland Mall
(Kentwood Station)
Gerald Ford Airport
(Cascade Township)
30-60 none none Interlined with Route 44
18 Westside Lake Michigan at Covell Central Station 30-60 60 none
19 Michigan Crosstown (Peak Only) Seward and 7th Oak Industrial and Maryland 60* none none
24 Burton Grandville Library Woodland Mall
(Kentwood Station)
30-60 60 none
28 28th Street Grandville Library 29th St./Acquest (Kentwood) 15-30 30-60 60
37 GVSU North Campus Express Kirkhof Center 48th/Lake Michigan Drive 7 60 80 Limited or no schedule when no college classes
44 44th Street Rivertown Walmart Woodland Mall
(Kentwood Station)
30-60 60 none Interlined with Route 17 on weekdays
48 GVSU South Campus Express Kirkhof Center 48th/Pierce 4 see #85 see #85 Limited or no schedule when no college classes
50 GVSU Campus Connector GVSU Allendale Campus Cook-DeVos Center 6-14 60 80 Limited or no schedule when no college classes
51 Hill DASH Center for Health Sciences GVSU Downtown Campus 15 20 none See also DASH list
60 GRCC GRCC Main Campus GRCC Sneden Center 10 none none
85 GVSU Weekend Connector Kirkhof Center Campus West see #37/48 25 25 Limited or no schedule when no college classes
100 Ferris State Express Central Station Ferris State University 4 trips none none No schedule when no college classes

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.


Single fares are $1.75. Passengers can obtain transfer tickets for use on up to three additional routes over the following two hours. They may not be used on the same route twice. A single fare ticket issued on the BRT can be used as a transfer on other routes.

Ten-ride passes can be purchased. Transfers can also be requested for each time the ticket is stamped. Multiple passengers may use the same ten-ride card, stamping it once per passenger.

Period passes are also available, for one, seven and thirty-one days. These expire at midnight on the day of expiration, regardless of the time the pass is activated.

Reduced ten-ride tickets are available for school age children, valid with school ID. School transfers are only valid on one additional route and for only one hour. Elderly and disabled also have access to reduced fare ten-ride and 31-day passes, again with appropriate ID.[5]

Children under 42" in height do not pay fare. A yellow stripe on the hand rail by the entrance denotes the height limit.

Contracted Services[edit]


The Rapid operates four bus routes on behalf of Grand Rapids, called Downtown Area Shuttle, or DASH. The routes are free to all passengers, and operate Mondays-Fridays, with the Hill DASH also operating Saturdays. DASH to the Hill, DASH West and DASH South are funded by City of Grand Rapids Parking Commission; DASH North is funded by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc and the North Monroe Business Association.

DASH routes were revamped in 2016. From September 1 the North DASH straightened its route along Monroe, rather than along Ottawa Avenue. The South route was effectively merged into the West DASH, covering the west side DASH lots, Pearl Street, via Division and Fulton to Ionia covering the Arena South lots, and then south to the Downtown Market and Wealthy Street Silver Line station. Service to the Cook-DeVos Center previously provided by the Hill DASH has long since been replaced by the rerouting route 50 along the planned Laker Line route.

Also as of September 1, the Silver Line is not subject to fare payment between Central Station and Wealthy Street, effectively making it part of the DASH network.

DASH bus routes (stand September 1, 2016)[6]
Number Route Endpoint Endpoint Service Days Frequency
Ionia & Weston (pre-8am and post-8.30pm)
Wealthy Street BRT (8am-8.30pm)
Area 7 Parking Lot,
Summer Avenue
M-F 7-8 mins 6.30am-10.30pm
Kent County
Leonard St
& Ionia Ave
M-F 20 mins 6.30am-10pm
90 Silver
60th Street
(subject to payment
beyond Wealthy Street))
7 days M-F 10-30
Sat 30
Sun 60
M-F 5am-12.30am
Sat 6am-10pm
Sun 7am-7pm

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.[7] 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, and continues via a section of the Silver Line on Monroe and Michigan before terminating at Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.[8]
  • Route 51 (Dash to the Hill) This service was removed on Sep 1 2016 having previously been defunded by GVSU due to route 50 serving CDC.
  • 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 85 Weekend Connector runs weekends connecting parts of routes 37 & 48.

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 late 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 Street 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.[9]

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.
  • 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, 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.[10]


  1. ^ "First Quarter 2015" (PDF). Public Transportation Ridership Report. American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ American Public Transportation Association (October 13, 2004). "Interurban Transit Partnership Receives National Recognition As APTA 2004 Outstanding Public Transportation System". Archived from the original on March 25, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2006. 
  3. ^ Interurban Transit Partnership (February 12, 2004). "The Rapid History". Archived from the original on January 1, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2006. 
  4. ^ "System Map". Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Rapid Fares". Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ "System Map". Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  7. ^ Grand Valley State University Bus System
  8. ^ "Bus Route 50 - GVSU Campus Connector Weekday". Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ Shuttle Service Information
  10. ^

External links[edit]