GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The new Silver Line bus system will start running to downtown Grand Rapids Monday.
Thousands of people are expected to use the Silver Line, running from the Wyoming and Kentwood areas to Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile.
Thirty-four stops have been set up on the Silver Line route. The bus route will run down Division Avenue and then loop by Mercy Health Saint Mary, the community college and the Medical Mile; along Monroe Avenue downtown; and then around to The Rapid central station off Grandville Avenue SW.
The Silver Line runs from 5 a.m. until midnight – the buses run every 20 minutes unless it’s during the morning or evening rush, then it’s every 10 minutes.
Fares are the same as the rest of The Rapid services – $1.50. Passengers can purchase fare tickets from the ticket vending machines located at the stations. Fares are purchased before boarding a bus.
But this week, to celebrate the start of the route, rides will be free through the weekend.
The Silver Line is designed to get passengers from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
“If you think about how can you cut 40% of your time off your commute and you can take the bus, that’s tremendous,” said Michigan Department of Transportation Kirk Steudle. “The ride this morning was great. The bus has the ability to preempt the traffic signals and turn it green so the bus doesn’t wait.”
Federal officials said Monday the line should be a boon to the economy.
“Transit is being able to spur, as I mentioned, the access to jobs, access to education, access to health care and it revitalizes many neighborhoods. And we are excited to see those opportunities come to Grand Rapids,” said Therese McMillan of the Federal Transit Administration.
During rush hours from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., lanes on the Silver Line route will be dedicated to the bus, much like a carpool lane.
Drivers caught using the lane reserved for buses could be fined. In Wyoming drivers could get a $110 ticket, in Grand Rapids drivers could get a traffic violation leading to about $118 fine.
On the web: