The Rapidian

Rapid Revolution to kick off Rapid Yes initiative

Rapid Revolution concert scheduled for April 16 at Rosa Parks Circle
The Rapid Central Station

The Rapid Central Station /Aaron Webb

Underwriting support from:

Event details

  • Saturday April 16, 2011
  • 2-7 p.m.
  • Rosa Parks Circle - Monroe Ave/Monroe Center


Much of our country appears to be undergoing a rebirth of cities.  Baby boomers are moving back from the suburbs, big-box retailers are adjusting their business models to fit into urban centers, and perhaps most importantly, urban mass-transit is improving.  Grand Rapids is no exception to this trend.

While the city is hardly at a point for underground subways or newer style light rail, there is currently a millage vote scheduled for May 3rd that would have a significant impact for the metro area’s bus system, The Rapid.

This particular millage vote, should it pass, would implement a $17.50 increase on a home valued at $100,000, bringing the total millage rate to $73.50.  This tax would be implemented in the six cites The Rapid serves (East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Walker, and Wyoming).

This initiative, being dubbed “Rapid Yes”, has several local community organizers, as well as officials, fired up.  On Saturday, April 16, community organizer Michael Tuffelmire and Dan Climie of The Litribune have teamed up with Friends of Transit to put on the Rapid Revolution rally at Rosa Parks Circle. 

Tuffelmire, who has organized other events at Rosa Parks Circle said of this one, “I came up with the idea of Rapid Revolution because I wanted to get people rallied behind the idea of better public transportation in Grand Rapids.”  Tuffelmire adds, “[S]ome people do not understand how important public transportation is to our future. I want people to think about that on Tuesday May 3rd when they walk into the polling stations and cast their vote for the Rapid Transit Millage.”

Climie and Tuffelmire have lined up a who’s who of people to speak about the need for increased mass transit in the area, including County Commissioner Jim Talen, Rachel Hood who serves as Executive Director of the West Michigan Environmental Action Committee (WMEAC), and Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell.

Heartwell, who along with the mayors of the aforementioned cities strongly endorses Rapid Yes, said, “The "Rapid Revolution" concert is a perfect vehicle to carry the message about transit improvements.  Young, creative people are looking to relocate to (or stay in) cities that have robust transit options allowing them to leave the car at home…or even go car-less!”  Heartwell added, “Passing this millage is of the uppermost importance. [I]t is all about people: giving the citizens of our cities options for transportation that are affordable, efficient and clean.”

Aside from a rally for what many consider one of the most pressing issues facing this city, Rapid Revolution will also have a laid back party atmosphere.  Tuffelmire and Climie have lined up some of the best musical acts in the area, including Paucity, Rick Chyme, and others to play throughout the afternoon.  There will also be a beer tent sponsored by WMEAC and food provided by What the Truck, the food truck operated by The Winchester restaurant.






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can not wait to attend... as a frequent rider of the Rapid, i value the service, even tho it has some major flaws... maybe this initiative will help make the Rapid even more "revolutionary"?!?!?  i


here is the link for a short vid on this rally. great job on the rally! i really enjoyed it, even if the weather wasn't cooperating