Rapid bus routes change paths

GVL / Archive

GVL / Archive

Many students at Grand Valley State University take The Rapid buses to get to their downtown classes, off-campus apartments, Meijer or anywhere in between. Starting on Aug. 23, students will see some changes to routes 50, 48 and 37.

Mark Rambo, manager of operations, explained that the Campus Connector route 50 will now stretch to the Medical Mile and will no longer stop at Central Station. Additionally, Route 50 will have two buses with a 50-minute frequency on weekends and during school breaks.

“The change in the route 50 alignment is part of the Laker Line initiative,” Rambo said. “This is the first step in creating greater connectivity between our university buildings and providing an enhanced mode of transportation.”

Rambo said the next step for these new routes is to add larger buses, elevated bus stops and improved technology similar to that of the Silver Line. The Rapid is expecting to start building the Laker Line in 2017.

Routes 48 and 37 will become route 85 on weekends and during school breaks. Rambo said this bus will circle the off-campus apartment complexes and stop at the Kirkhof Center with a 25-minute frequency. Previously, two buses operated at a 60-minute to 90-minute frequency.

“These improvements are the result of the Laker Line public engagement process which involved both the Rapid and the GVSU community,” Rambo said.

Students have been discussing these changes on social media. Jamie Coffin, a GVSU senior, is one Laker who is not excited about the new routes. Coffin attends school full time and works full time. She said the changes will make her already-busy schedule even more difficult.

“I am so disappointed about this change,” she said. “Since this change is happening I will have to either take three buses to campus from my home in Eastown/Easthills or walk a great distance which will not be fun in the winter. I really feel like this change to the bus is geared toward students who already drive and use the bus as a park and ride.”

Specific changes to the bus routes include:

  • Route 50 will extend to the Center for Health Science (CHS) building on Michigan Street in Grand Rapids. The bus will stop on Lafayette Ave just north of CHS.
  • Route 51 (Hill Dash) will no longer stop at CHS.
  • Route 50 will no longer stop at Rapid Central Station. The new alignment will have multiple direct connections to Central Station via the Silver Line, Route 12 and Route 7.
  • Route 50 will stop on Lake Michigan Drive at Kinney Ave (just east of the fire station), instead of pulling into the Park and Ride behind the Walker Fire Station.
  • The primary Route 50 stop in Grand Rapids (near the Richard M. DeVos Center) will move from Front Street (under US-131) to Fulton Street (under US-131).
  • Routes 37 and 48 will combine to form Route 85 on the weekends to provide increased apartment service. Route 50 will continue to operate on weekends to connect Allendale and Grand Rapids.

The newly changed fall bus schedule begins on Aug. 31. For more information, visit www.gvsu.edu/bus.