GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As Grand Valley State University students move in for the fall semester, they will have a new way to get back and forth between Allendale and downtown Grand Rapids.
The new Laker Line starts running Monday.
It will operate using the same rapid transit model the same as The Rapid’s Silver Line and will replace the Rapid Route 50.
While everyone can take it, it was designed mainly to move GVSU students between the Allendale and downtown Grand Rapids campuses. Rapid officials hope the new service will be faster than Route 50 and can help carry more students.
“From 2000 to 2018, the ridership on the Grand Valley line increased by about 770%,” The Rapid business affairs specialist Bill Kirk said. “In normal times, we’ll look at anything from 7,000 to 10,000 riders a day on that route.”
“From a capacity perspective, (the Laker Line) is about a 30% increase in capacity. Our analysis shows this upgrade was needed,” he added.
He noted the Rapid doesn’t expect the line to start running at full capacity now because of COVID-19.
The Rapid is holding a ceremony on Monday downtown Grand Rapids to officially start the new service, which has been in the works for seven years. U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, will be one of the speakers.