Still competing for a seat

GVL / Archive
Students crowd an appraoching 50 bus as it pulls up to Kirkhof.

GVL / Archive Students crowd an appraoching 50 bus as it pulls up to Kirkhof.

Carly Simpson

On a typical weekday afternoon this semester, there are more than 100 students waiting at the Grand
Valley State University Pew Campus bus station, all hoping to get a spot on the next 50. As the
Campus Connector pulls around the corner, GVSU junior Craig Weaver subtly starts to push his way to
the front of the crowd.

“It’s not that bad in the morning, but in the afternoon it’s worse,” Weaver said. “All the seats are taken
and the aisle is packed full of people standing. At least once every couple days, I have to wait for the
next bus since the first one fills up. If there is a chance I can get on the bus, I shove my way forward. I
know it’s rude, but I don’t want to wait.”

According to The Rapid, Route 50 has had the most substantial ridership increases, and demand
currently outpaces capacity at peak operating hours. Higher enrollment at GVSU means more riders.
Since 2009, bus ridership at GVSU has continually increased on Route 50, which connects the
Allendale and Pew Campuses. In 2012, nearly 1.4 million riders used the Campus Connector—a 10
percent increase from 2011.

“The transportation system provides an efficient, sustainable and cost effective alternative to bringing
a car to campus,” said Mark Rambo, manager of operations at the Pew Campus and Regional Centers.

Due to increased traffic, the Interurban Transit Partnership, which operates the Rapid system, has
been investigating changes to the Lake Michigan Drive bus
[email protected]