University

<font color=red>Web Extra:</font> Mich.'s GVSU sees record ridership for 10th year

Posted on December 21, 2009

[IMAGE]campus-3.jpg[/IMAGE]Since initiating a contract with Grand Rapids, Mich.'s transit agency, The Rapid, in 2000, Allendale's Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has seen its ridership grow every year of this decade going from an average of 770 students each day in 2000 to an average of 21,478 students this year.

"Our enrollment has grown over the last ten years as well, and we've grown with it," said Erin Babson, operations manager for Pew Campus and Regional Centers. "We've worked really hard to pay attention to the students' needs and grow with them."

Babson explained that the GVSU began the partnership with The Rapid when it expanded and created a separate campus.

"We always had one building that was 14 miles away in a downtown area. In 2000, we built more of a complex, added a housing building and a 300,000-square-foot building with a student union, so we really created a new presence," she said. "We were starting to require students to get back and forth, so the university investigated and contracted with the city to get the buses to go out there."

This year's ridership numbers, overall, are up 13.2 percent from fall 2008 to fall 2009, and yearly ridership has increased from 684,746 riders in 2005-06 to a total of 2,411,631 riders in 2008-09.

Babson says this growth is the result of efforts by the university to make transit a priority.

"We've worked very hard to create a culture of transit. It took a couple of years but, after a while, it's just what you do if you're a student," she says. "We have also have an extensive marketing program that helps to show that riding the bus can be fun."  

A total of 20 buses run five separate routes, every six minutes to seven minutes, both within and around the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses seven days a week.

Recently, the university received the highest "green" rating among Michigan's colleges and universities in an annual report by The Princeton Review and is the only Michigan school cited in Kaplan College Guide 2009's list of "cutting-edge green" colleges and universities.

The university was also the recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council's 2008 Recognition Award and the Sustainable Endowments Institute's 2008 National Sustainability Innovator Award.

"We are so excited to experience record ridership for the 10th consecutive year," says Babson. "We are proud that the bus system has become part of the Grand Valley culture. This shows that our students are part of a generation that believes in the value and importance of public transportation."

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Student usage fuels Riverside Transit's ridership growth

The agency reported nearly 1.6 million student boardings at six schools — UC Riverside, Cal Baptist University, La Sierra University Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside City College and Moreno Valley College — in fiscal 2015.

S. Texas college, Valley Metro partnership expands bus routes

The JagExpress connects all five of the college’s campuses, provides free Wi-Fi and is free to students, faculty and staff with a valid identification.

Chapel Hill Transit differs from university service in summer months

N.C. State University's Wolfline bus system — a solely university-based line — sees a much more drastic decrease in ridership over the summer from about 7,000 hours of service per month during the school year and only 2,000 hours of service per month during the summer.

Carpenter Bus Sales launches college scholarship

Owner and president of company, Henry Headden, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, wants to help students achieve their educational dreams.

New bus stop provides key link for Conn. College students

The local transportation system has long had a route that passes by the college, which runs under a "flag-down" system, requiring riders to stand anywhere on the route and wave at the bus when it passes, hoping that it stops.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close