August 26, 2014

The Rapid launches BRT line

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid) celebrated the grand opening of the Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. The new system will significantly improve transit options in the greater Grand Rapids area and offer faster, more convenient access to major downtown employers along one of the city’s busiest commercial corridors.

The 9.6-mile BRT system operates primarily along Division Avenue, serving residential areas along the corridor and major employers such as St. Mary’s Medical campus, the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and the Cook-DeVos School of Nursing. Compared to non-BRT service, the Silver Line is faster because it eliminates the need for transfers between stops and uses dedicated bus lanes for much of the route.

RELATED: 2014 BRT Survey: Projects Abound, Bring Economic Benefits

“The Silver Line is an excellent example of bus rapid transit that’s done right—offering a convenient and reliable travel option for thousands of residents in the Grand Rapids area,” said FTA Acting Administrator McMillan. “This new service will cut commuting times nearly in half for many workers, students and seniors in Kent County who are traveling to jobs, school and medical facilities in downtown Grand Rapids and the Medical Mile, while helping to reduce congestion on US 131.”

The FTA contributed approximately $32 million toward the $40 million total project cost, including $19 million through its Capital Investment Grant Program and $13 million through its Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program. The remaining cost is covered by state funding.

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