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Transit improvements

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What is the next big transit enhancement or project you would like to see happen in Grand Rapids? Think beyond infrastructure. Consider routes, maps, staff issues perhaps?

The Rapid

To create, offer and continuously improve a flexible network of regional public transportation options and mobility solutions. [Vision] We envision a future in our growing community in which: Citizens can live conveniently without owning a car; More citizens choose public transportation because it is an easy, economical, and efficient way of getting where they want to go; Employers choose our community because it provides multiple solutions for getting employees to work. Public transit serves as an economic engine; Public transportation is an integral part of the life of every citizen in the region and creates opportunities; Public transportation supports sustainability and economic development. [Beliefs] We carry out our mission based on the following beliefs: Responsibility to all citizens. We believe that communities have a moral and economic obligation to provide transportation alternatives to all citizens; Role in regional development. We believe that the public transportation system plays an important role in shaping regional development patterns and improving the quality of life in our community. A well-designed public transportation system can support an environmentally sustainable future, control urban sprawl by promoting responsible development, increase energy conservation, and reduce traffic congestion; Collaboration. We believe that no single organization can provide all the transportation solutions needed by our citizens. We must build broad-based collaborations to blend a wide variety of transportation options into a flexible and responsive network focused on the needs of every citizen; Responsibility to our customers. We believe that our transportation system should be a customer-oriented enterprise. [Values] We are committed to embodying the following values in how we carry out our mission: Customer service orientation. We will provide service that is convenient, affordable, accessible, timely, and responsive to customer needs; Customer loyalty. We will earn our customers' trust by providing service that is friendly, respectful, safe, and dependable; Employees. We see our employees as the first line of contact with our customers and, therefore, we value our employees as integral to the success of our organization

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Comments

More north-south routes. that don't terminate at central station. Suggestions: 

3-mile & Wilson to Rivertown Crossings (Connecting Walker and Grandville)

Plainfield & Northland Drive to Davenport Lettinga Campus (Running down East Beltline, hitting the commerce parks along the way)

Plainfield & Northland Drive to Division & 68th, connecting Plainfield and Cutlerville. (And letting me drop my car off at my mechanic on Plainfield without needing another car to get home...)

Something connecting Alpine Meijer, Comstock Park, Belding and Plainfield & Northland would be good, too, if Plainfield & Northland Drive becomes a route nexus...and the path is undeveloped enough that it would make a good express shuttle.

My wife points out that a second station on the north side of town, on the scale of Central Station, would serve as a good connector for Plainfield, Belding, Rockford, Cedar Springs, Plainfield...so if Northland Drive and Plainfield becomes a nexus, routes could pretty well fan out from there.

Finally, I believe I heard that 84th & 131 was going to get a mall. Said mall might make a good southern fanout point for Cutlerville and Byron Center.

I totally agree about North/South routes which don't terminate at the central station. I'd love to be able to travel from Knapp/Fuller to Eastown direct.

  1. Just one more evening run on Saturdays would be great.  Ending service at 9:15PM is really early.  That makes it hard to take the bus back out of downtown after dinner, etc..  10:15PM as the last run would be much more usable.  Just that alone would a nice enhancment, otherwise we either need to walk or taxi;  the first is lousy much of the year [especially in the evening] and the later option eliminates the cost savings of transit.  One also cannot, for example, go  to see an evening movie and then take the bus home.  I realize ~80% of the riders are "commuters" but this data-point is reenforced by a schedule that makes the service less convenient for other purposes.
  2. If trash cans cannot be installed [and maintained/services, I understand that is the hard part] what about some type of adopt-a-stop program to get stops cleaned up.  Espeically stops near convenience stores get very trashy.
  3. Please please please integrate the DASH and the RAPID schedules.  Or at least get the DASH schedules updated.  The Monroe/North DASH started last December and is still not on the DASH PDF schedule - that is completely ridiculous - it takes 8+ months for someone to redo a PDF???  I contacted the Parking Authority and they said they do not administer the DASH [although the schedule is on their website].  I've contacted the RAPID multiple does and been told they do not manage the DASH. So.....?  Finding the schedule for the Monroe/North DASH is *HARD*.  I had to find it for someone in my employer's IT department it is buried so deep [as a "postcard" and a "bulletin"].  The DASH is a great service - the management and promotion of the DASH is complete amatuer hour.
  4. Central station should have a fare card vending machine.  I frequently buy fare cards on the bus - but realize that slows down an entire bus full of people.  And the central station service counter is only open during regular business hours.  This seems like something a vending machine could to.

I'm not sure a poll or call-for-comments here is that effective.  What percentage of RAPID riders read the Rapidian?  I've been suprised that many fellow-riders did not know that the $2.50 ArtPrice bands provided free transit for ~3 weeks of free transportation - they were still using thier fare cards.  Many riders are just not in the loop of people who talk about this kind of thing.  I'm not sure what the best mechanism is for polling needs and desires, but I doubt it is a hip website.