GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — City officials are showing off their newly revamped wheels and schedule for the Grand Rapids’ Downtown Area Shuttle.
24 Hour News 8 hopped aboard the newly repainted pink bus Wednesday to learn more about the shuttle service, also known as the DASH.
“It’s a free circulator the city officers to help people find low cost parking options and park once…. Then use the transit service to get to all the great amenities we have,” explained Grand Rapids mobility manager Josh Naramore.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 27, the DASH will add more days, hours and stops to its complimentary service.
In the past, the DASH has run from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with no weekend service. On Monday, that changes.
“We are actually adding expanded hours of service so we will run to 1 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and we are also adding weekend service as well,” said Naramore.
The new hours for DASH West and DASH North will be as follows:
- Monday through Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Thursday and Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Additionally, routes have changed slightly to include more popular downtown destinations. The DASH West route encompasses Grand Rapids’ West Side, Monroe Center and Heartside neighborhoods and includes stops at the following locations:
- David D. Hunting YMCA
- Kendall College of Art & Design
- Grand Rapids’ Children’s Museum
- Van Andel Arena
- Bridge Street Market
DASH North covers the Creston, City Center and Medical Mile areas and includes the following points of interest:
- DeVos Place
- Downtown Market
- Founders Brewing
- Spectrum Health
- Belknap Park
The city is also adding a transfer stop at Rosa Parks Circle for DASH North riders.
Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says the changes put the city ahead of the curve.
“Other cities are still trying to figure out how they catch up with their growing population and excitement in their community. I feel like we have been extremely thoughtful. We’ve taken time to listen, we have done a lot of research and looked at best practices and it’s exciting we’re now implementing some of those changes,” she said.
Currently, about 30,000 people ride the DASH each month. The city hopes the changes will double ridership while providing commuters a cheaper option.
Parking in a DASH lot is $2 and the shuttle is free; using a downtown parking ramp can run $12 or more.
“We need make sure that we’re providing multiple options to meet the needs of individuals in our city. Regardless of where they live or how much money they make,” said Bliss.
“Our hope is that people at least try and see if this works for them,” she added.