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No stopping them now, these Grand Rapids kids are on the move

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Kent Transition Center’s partnership with The Rapid helps special education students maintain independence, one bus ride at a time
Students learn how to ride the bus.

Students learn how to ride the bus.

KTC Core students were all smiles outside of Rapid Central Station.

KTC Core students were all smiles outside of Rapid Central Station.

At The Rapid, we provide more than just transportation.

We’re the direct connection to jobs for many individuals. In fact, nearly 80 percent of The Rapid’s passengers board the bus to commute to and from work.

We also help people manage their lives more efficiently and maintain their independence.

Our in-house Travel Training program is essential to The Rapid’s ability to serve the community’s diverse needs. For two decades, our dedicated Travel Trainers have been teaching individuals with disabilities, the elderly and infirmed how to navigate throughout Greater Grand Rapids and use public transportation without relying on others for assistance. The free training can be as simple as teaching bus basics to first-time riders and helping them to plan key routes to group and location-based “Bus 101” training.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what challenges you face, travel training is a service that can benefit anyone,” said Cari Dennany, Rapid Travel Trainer.

An unforgettable example of the value Bus 101 Travel Training classes provides to some of our community’s most appreciative residents took place recently with our friends at the Kent Transition Center (KTC) CORE program.

Administered through the Kent County Intermediate School District, the KTC’s innovative CORE initiative is designed to meet the needs of Kent County's high school-age students who are not yet prepared for independent, competitive employment.

The CORE curriculum prepares and empowers students for adult life by working mainly on career and employability skills as well as communication and interpersonal skills. CORE also offers instruction on promoting semi-independent living skills to those in need of such knowledge.

Travel Trainer Sarah Green visited the CORE classroom located in the Mary Free Bed YMCA off Route 28 in Cascade. She demonstrated hands-on group travel training techniques to teach the students about the ease, convenience and affordability of public transportation, as well as the basics of boarding and exiting the bus at their desired destinations.

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