GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - As gas prices rise and lifestyles change, more people are riding The Rapid. Because of that, officials want to expand services over the next seven years.
Tuesday evening, the mayors of Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood and Walker joined forces at the GVSU Cook-DeVos Health Science Building to begin a campaign for a Rapid bus millage increase on May 3.
The proposed hike of .35 mills would be added to the existing rate of 1.12 mills -- a 31% increase in bus property taxes.
Supporters say it's necessary, while opponents say this is not the time.
"This is about investing in our community, and the more we invest, the better return on our investment will be," said David Bulkowski, of the Friends of Transit.
But Dr. Eric Larson of an opposition group disagrees.
"Obviously, families are struggling, businesses are struggling and this tax hike is just going to take more money out of the local economy that businesses and families can use for things they need," he said.
A lot of the proposed hike will go toward funding the Bus Rapid Transit. Better known as the Silver Line, this express bus service would run from South Division through downtown and the Medical Mile.
A proposed millage increase in 2009 targeted the Silver Line, but voters rejected the proposal.
A former teacher accused of having inappropriate contact with a student entered a plea Monday.
The Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education discussed Phase 2 of the district's Transformation Plan at a special meeting Monday afternoon.
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