GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Changes are happening at The Rapid, the public bus system that serves Grand Rapids and surrounding communities. In January, it launched Route 33 in Walker and it is consolidating two other routes next month.

Route 33 runs along 3 Mile Road and Northridge Drive NW and rounds out The Rapid’s route total to 40.

“That route was specifically created to service employers out that way. There are some huge employers and multiple employers that were in need of transportation for their employees,” Wardell Frazier, community relations specialist, said, adding that more than 18 companies were consulted.

He explained that the new route gives people who live outside of the Walker area the opportunity to get to those jobs.

“It was something that the public stated that they wanted, and we were able to put that into place,” Frazier said.

Next month, The Rapid is merging its two free Dash routes, Dash West and Dash North, and expanding to include the Leonard Street business district. This service connects key downtown Grand Rapids locations and parking lots.

With these changes, The Rapid is estimated to provide six million rides by the end of 2023.


With construction season upon us, anyone using The Rapid may see changes to their routes.

When The Rapid is notified about an upcoming interruption, the transportation supervisor “will start putting the puzzle pieces together. The goal is to make sure that we miss (the) least amount of stops as possible,” Frazier explained.

Riders are asked to check the Transit App or the website to see if there are any disruptions. If there is a disruption, the app will show the detour and any route changes that need to be made.

“If there’s is a stop that cannot be accessed, most likely (you’ll) see a red bag put over that stop. It notifies the public and the customers that that stop is not operating today,” he said.

The Rapid buses do not run on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day.


In addition to its newest route and the Dash service, The Rapid offers several services to customers including bus lines, shuttles to the nearest stop, parking lot connections and more.

“We have a wealth of different services throughout The Rapid,” Frazier said.

The Silver Line, which takes commuters up and down division Avenue from 60th to Michigan streets, is “blurring the line between bus and train,” according to The Rapid’s website.

“We also have the Laker Line. It’s a partnership with Grand Valley State University,” Frazier said. “It’s very heavily used.”

The Laker Line brings commuters from Grand Rapids to Allendale with multiple stops along the way. GVSU students, faculty and staff ride the line for free, according to The Rapid’s website. It connects with the Silver Line in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We have a program called Rapid Connect. That’s an on-demand service. It operates in Walker and Kentwood,” Fraizer said. “The reason for this program is to help anyone who lives outside what we call a fixed route … If you want to get to a stop and you’re not close to a stop, if you’re within those zones in Walker and Kentwood, then that program would get you to the closest bus stop so you have access to our routes.”

The GO!Bus is a shared ride for anyone with a disability or people over the age of 65.

“A great way to get access to the services we provide would be to come on down … to Rapid Central Station. It’s our platform. Most of our routes originate from Rapid Central Station, but not all of them,” Frazier said.


The Rapid has a number of fare types. Wave Cards are reloadable ride fare cards with single-day and calendar month maximums. When you pay using The Wave Card, your transfer timeframe is 105 minutes, meaning any taps within that timeframe will not charge your account, The Rapid’s website explained. This starts when you first tap the card.

Single-ride options are available for $1.75 a ride.

“Someone could come to our info center, which is located at 250 Cesar Chavez. They can come to our info center and purchase that single-ride barcode,” Frazier said.

The option to pay cash for your fare on the bus is also available, according to The Rapid’s website. You’re asked to pay with exact change.

Tickets for the GO!Bus and PASS can be purchased online.


To make riding the bus and navigating the different routes easier, The Rapid has partnered with the Transit App which gives real-time directions on what to do.

“So if I want to figure out and plan a trip or ride a bus somewhere, I just input my location and then put my destination and it pops up a bunch of different options,” Frazier said. “It basically helps me navigate the process of riding the bus.”

He explained that while you’re on the bus, it gives you notifications that tell you when your stop is coming up.

For anyone looking for extra assistance or “travel training,” The Rapid offers several training programs. For more information, click here.

For more information on pricing, routes and how to use The Rapid, click here.