Interurban Transit Partnership

Interurban Transit Partnership

Infobox Bus transit
name =

logo_size = 250


image_size =
image_caption =
company_slogan =
parent =
founded = 1963
headquarters = 300 Ellsworth SW
locale = Grand Rapids, MI
service_area = Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming, Alpine Township, Byron Township, Cascade Township, Gaines Township, Grand Rapids Township
service_type = bus service
alliance =
routes = 24
destinations =
stops =
hubs =
stations =
lounge =
fleet =
ridership = 25,335 (FY 2006)
fuel_type =
operator =
ceo =
website = [http://www.ridetherapid.org/ ridetherapid.org]
The Interurban Transit Partnership, called "The Rapid", is the public transit provider for the Grand Rapids, Michigan, metropolitan area. "The Rapid" was recognized in 2004 by receipt from the American Public Transportation Association of an "Outstanding Public Transportation System Award".ref|APTA_PressRelease

Formed by the City of Grand Rapids in 1963 as the "Grand Rapids Transit Authority", the system became a regional authority in July 1978 and was renamed the "Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority", or "GRATA". In January 2000, the ITP was formed, which soon adopted the moniker, "The Rapid", as its branding.ref|history

Branding

In September 2006, The Rapid unveiled a new look for the buses to match the design of the Central Station platform which opened in 2004. The older red, blue and yellow striped buses will be replaced over the next few years with the new design, which features waves of white and blue.

A new website was launched shortly after the new buses were introduced. New features of the website include e-mail updates by route as well as other services, and the ability to buy passes online.

ervice area

Aside from the City of Grand Rapids, the system also serves the cities of East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, and Wyoming. Some routes extend into neighboring townships including Alpine Township (route 9), Byron Township (route 1), Cascade Township (routes 5, 28, and 44), Gaines Township (route 4), and Grand Rapids Township (route 15).

ervices

ITP operates 24 fixed bus routes, and special services for Grand Valley State University (with a stop at Grand Rapids Community College on one route) and Davenport University (see below).

Central Station

Rapid Central Station opened in June 2004, in downtown Grand Rapids. The transit center is shared with Greyhound Bus Lines and Indian Trails Bus Lines for bus service outside of the city.

Routes

Routes 1 through 16 stop at Rapid Central Station, as well as route 49 Davenport Express, route 50 GVSU Weekend Connector (Friday evening through Sunday) and South Dash. Southbound routes connect passengers to the three crosstown routes 24, 28, and 44. Route 8 provides access to Amtrak with stops near the Wealthy and Market intersection.

On December 18, 2006, the Rivertown Crossings Mall bus stop was moved away from the entrance by Sears to near the entrance under the Celebration Cinema! (formerly Cinemark) building where there is a parking lot. The nearby Meijer was added to route 8 because of the bus stop was moved on November 20, 2006 [http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-33/1164268402145990.xml&coll=6] . The table shows Rivertown Mall and the nearby Meijer as an endpoint for routes 8 and 44. Meijer serves as the terminal point.


"The Rapid" bus routes (as of May 21, 2007)ref|schedules

During the school year, additional routes are used to serve students in the Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) district. As of October 2005, there is a GRPS shuttle to after school programs at the downtown David D. Hunting Branch of the YMCA.

Grand Valley State University

All Grand Valley State University students, faculty, and staff can ride the buses for free while classes are in session. All others pay regular fare, except for route 51, which is a free DASH route. [ [http://www.gvsu.edu/bus/ Grand Valley State University ] ] . As of Fall , 2006:
* Route 50 "Campus Connector" runs Monday-Friday from Kirkhof Center at the Allendale Campus to a bus stop under US-131 at Mount Vernon and Front at the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
* Route 51 "(Dash to the Hill)" / CHS Express runs weekdays between a stop at Lake Michigan Dr. and Seward NW and the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences at Michigan NE and LaFayette NE. Because it's part of the City of Grand Rapids DASH system, anybody can ride this bus for free, not just GVSU students, faculty and staff.
* Route 37 "Off-Campus Apartment Shuttle" runs weekdays through the Allendale campus to apartments on Lake Michigan Drive, 48th Ave., Luce (Pierce St. until Fall 2006) and on campus.
* Route 50 "Weekend Connector" runs Friday evenings and weekends as of Fall 2006 and is a combination of the above routes. From 2004 to 2006, the bus traveled to RiverTown Crossings via Jenison, Michigan on Saturday and Sunday. In 2005 and 2006, it also stopped at Central Station on Saturday and Sunday. The Fall 2006 version combines routes 50, 51 and 37 and visits Central Station and added a Friday evening schedule.

Davenport University

Route 49, the "Davenport Express", serving Davenport University started in Fall, 2005. It stops at Central Station, the Davenport Fulton St. Campus, Centerpointe and Woodland Malls, and the Davenport Lettinga Campus, Monday through Friday.

Additional Services

Other services provided by the ITP include:
*"Car and Vanpooling Assistance" — For carpools, the service matches people who make arrangements based on similar work schedules and travel patterns. For vanpools, employees can use The Rapid minivans to get to work.
*"County Connection" — Provides transportation in all of Kent County, Michigan.
*"Dash (Downtown Area Shuttle) Lot Service" Under contract to the city of Grand Rapids, ITP maintains and operates the buses for the city along three routes: South, West, and To the Hill. The city operates the parking lots Dash serves. The Dash To the Hill route serves Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University as route 51.
*"GO!Bus" — Provides transportation for those with disabilities.
*"Grand Rapids Air Porter" — A new service as of January 2006. This shuttle runs between the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and several hotels in downtown Grand Rapids.
*"PASS" — Curb-to-curb service. Provides transportation into specific neighborhoods where there is low concentration of bus routes.

References

# cite web
url=http://www.apta.com/media/releases/awards_04/interurban.cfm
author=American Public Transportation Association
year=13 Oct. 2004
title=Interurban Transit Partnership Receives National Recognition As APTA 2004 Outstanding Public Transportation System
accessdate=2006-01-05

#cite web
url=http://www.ridetherapid.org/Main/about/history.htm
author=Interurban Transit Partnership
year=12 Feb. 2004
title=The Rapid History
accessdate=2006-01-05

#cite web
url=http://www.ridetherapid.org/Main/routes/fixed_route/bus_schedules.htm
author=Interurban Transit Partnership
title=The Rapid bus schedules, fares, ...
accessdate=2006-01-17
year= 17 Nov. 2005

External links

* [http://www.ridetherapid.org/ Ride The Rapid (official site)]
* [http://www.grandrapidsairporter.com Grand Rapids Air Porter Service]
* [http://therapid.greenride.com/default.aspx GreenRide Carpooling]
* [http://www.grdash.info/ City of Grand Rapids DASH]
* [http://www.stoptherapid.org/ Stop the Rapid] - Organization opposing transit tax increase
* [http://www.mlui.org/ Michigan Land Use Institute] – Organizer of the "Getting There Together" Transit Summit 2005


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