Posted in Places to Go on

Ride The Rapid to Uccello’s Ristorante

Uccello's meal

Do you have big events coming up this summer or fall? We’ve got the perfect deal for you thanks to Uccello’s Ristorante.

Known for their delicious food and laid back atmosphere, Uccello’s has several locations throughout West Michigan. Their transit-friendly locations are just a short bus ride away in Grandville, Kentwood and Standale. Offering everything from pizza and pasta to subs and burgers, a quick scan through their menu can assure you for just about whatever you’re in the mood for.

Thrifty Thursday Deal

Uccello’s Grandville catering is offering you a great deal for catering. When you cater with them and spend $100 or more, you will get 10 percent off your order. Call (616) 249-9344 to place an order.

Plan your trip to Uccello’s today!

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Notice of Public Hearings: Adjustment in Weekday Peak Service

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The Rapid hereby gives notice that two public meetings will be held to present the proposed shift of afternoon peak service forward one-half hour, starting at 3:15 p.m. and ending at 5:45 p.m.

Background

The Rapid runs peak service during the morning and afternoon commutes when 11 routes shift from service every half-hour to service every fifteen minutes. This provides a high level of service during these high-ridership time periods that make The Rapid’s system much easier to travel. Currently, the peak times are 6:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. in the morning and 3:45 PM to 6:15 PM in the afternoon.

When comparing these peak times against actual ridership, the morning ridership peak lines up quite well with peak service. However, it is quickly evident that in the afternoon, the highest ridership hour (3:00-4:00 p.m.) is being largely missed by peak service. At the same time, the tail end of peak afternoon service, around 6 p.m., has the lowest ridership of any peak service.

Action Requested

As a result, staff recommends shifting the afternoon peak service earlier by one-half hour. This better meets the actual ridership patterns of our patrons and would be cost neutral as service is being shifted, not added. The change would be accomplished by eliminating the last run of weekday peak service (the 6:00 p.m.line up) and adding one run at the beginning of peak afternoon service (the 3:30 PM line up). The resulting afternoon peak service would run 3:15 PM until 5:45 PM, with service every 15 minutes during those times on the 11 peak service routes. If approved by the Board at the June meeting, these changes would be implemented on August 29, 2016.

Proposed Peak Service Times

Public Hearings

There will be two public hearings to gather feedback regarding the proposed service adjustment. They will be held at Rapid Central Station, Conference Room – 2nd floor:

-  Wednesday, June  8, 2016, 7:30 a.m. — 8:30 a.m.

- Thursday, June 9, 2016, 6:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.   

The Rapid staff will be available for questions and/or comments. Written comments may be submitted for the record no later than Thursday, June 9, 2016. Please send comments to The Rapid Planning Department, 300 Ellsworth St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503, or via email to info@ridetherapid.org.

Posted in Places to Go on

Ride The Rapid to Celebrate John Ball Zoo’s 125th Birthday

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We’ve partnered with FOX 17 to bring you budget-friendly and transit-friendly deals throughout Grand Rapids and the suburbs. This Thrifty Thursday take a walk on the wild side! We’re featuring John Ball Zoo as a must-visit destination. John Ball Zoo is celebrating its 125th birthday, and we want to get you there to join in on the fun! So why not take a ride with us to enjoy all Michigan’s oldest zoo has to offer?

Whether you’re seeking a relaxed day exploring the zoo at your own pace or an exciting event, there’s no shortage of events on the zoo’s calendar this spring and summer. However, if you and your family love the zoo, one of the best ways to enjoy it to the fullest extent is by purchasing a household membership. For just $80, you and your family can come to the park as many times as you want all year round. This pass also allows you to enter 140 other zoos across the country, as well as giving you discounts on various attractions.

Thrifty Thursday

-  The John Ball Zoo household membership admits one or two named cardholders AND any dependent children 19 years or younger into the Zoo FREE for one year from date of issue.
-  Unlimited visits
-  Discounts at gift shop, concession stand and experiences.
-  Sneak peeks at the new exhibits.
-  Two members-only events.
-  Free or discounted admission to over 120 other zoos & aquariums across the US.

Plan your trip today!

Posted in Events on

Walk, Ride & Roll to Open Street Sunday

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Ride, walk or roll to Ionia Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids this Sunday, May 22 for Open Street Sunday. This event hosted by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) offers a chance to celebrate community and experiment with active transportation in a safe space. Whether you enjoy biking, skateboarding, rollerblading or simply your own two feet or your mobility device, we want to see you there!

Ionia Avenue will be closed from Fulton to Cherry to provide a car-free environment filled with games, activities, information and a chance to hang out and enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Some partners include the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition and Spoke Folks.

Visit the event page for more information. Plan your trip at ridetherapid.org.

 

 

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Love Free Samples? Ride With us to the Downtown Market on Tuesday

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Who doesn’t love a free sample? It’s the perfect excuse to try something new.

In our constant quest to find fun, budget-friendly destinations throughout Grand Rapids, we stumbled upon another delicious reason to head to the Downtown Market on Tuesday evenings until the end of May. Sampling Tuesdays, a chance to sample select products from participating vendors, is a great way to try new things at the Market. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a fresh green juice concoction from Malamiah Juice Bar, but you’re not sure if you’ll like it. Now you have the chance!

Ride Routes 1, 2 or the Silver Line to get you directly to or within walking distance from the Downtown Market. Sampling Tuesday takes place from 5-7 p.m. until the end of May, so you have three more opportunities to check it out. We suggest getting there around 5 p.m. and visiting all Market vendors (even if they aren’t offering up samples), then finishing your trip by enjoying dinner! Dinner tip: The Downtown Market’s newest restaurant is Social Kitchen & Bar, take a look at their menu.

Apertivo sample

Juice tasting.

Popcorn tasting.

Posted in News on

Driving Change: Educating Bicyclists & Motorists

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Did you know that Grand Rapids has a crash rate between cars and bicycles that is twice as high as the state average? In fact, Kent County ranks fourth in the state in population but had the third-highest number of car-bike crashes in 2014 with 151. Two of those were fatal. And as we work to improve mobility options for all of Grand Rapids, cars aren’t the only ones using the roadways.

With nearly 80 miles of new bike lanes introduced in the city since 2010, the City of Grand Rapids is doing their part to educate both motorists and bicyclists only how to interact safely and legally. This past week the City of Grand Rapids and state officially launched a new bicycle safety campaign, Driving Change, in an effort  to improve education and build respect between all road users. The multi-tiered education plan is funded primarily through a $632,000 federal grant to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in partnership with the city. The program’s objective is to curb the number of bicycle crashes and fatalities in the greater Grand Rapids area.

“Our streets need to be safe for everyone – whether you are riding your bike or driving your car,” Bliss said during a press conference at Grand Rapids City Hall.

“Through this campaign, we will engage the community so everyone knows their rights and responsibilities as we move from place to place,” the mayor said. “By informing the community about the city’s new road infrastructure and bicycle-related ordinances, we will strengthen relationships between bicyclists and motorists.”

Research commissioned by the city in 2015 shows people in the Grand Rapids area are:

  • Unclear about how they are supposed to interact with the 80 miles of new bike lanes that Grand Rapids has introduced since 2010.
  • Unaware of the city’s bicycle ordinances.
  • Frustrated with bad behavior displayed by both motorists and bicyclists while on the road.
  • Believe motorists and bicyclist can share the road together in harmony.

“We all share the responsibility to make sure Grand Rapids roads are safe for everyone, including pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Grand Rapids Bicycle Police Officer Eric Gizzi, who was joined at the press conference by Kent County law enforcers representing the cities of Kentwood, Wyoming, East Grand Rapids, Grandville and Walker.

“Our goal is to inform motorists and bicyclists of the city’s new road infrastructure, grow knowledge of the city’s bicycle-related ordinances and build a more respectful culture between bicyclists and motorists,” Gizzi said.

In 2016, the primary goal is not to issue police citations for against motorists or bicyclists who may violate the city’s bicycle-related ordinances unless officers deem action necessary. Instead, law enforcement and community partners, such as Grand Rapids Public Schools and the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, will work to distribute informational materials that update both motorists and bicyclists about safe road behavior.

Some of the key rules of the road that the Driving Change campaign will promote include:

  • Motorists passing a bicycle must leave at least 5 feet between the right side of their vehicle and a bicyclist. One aim of the Driving Change campaign is to publicize the new 5-feet safety standard passed by the City Commission in 2015 that is applicable this year.
  • Bicyclists must be visible, using a forward white light and rear reflector or white light when riding at night.
  • Motorists should watch out for bikes, especially when making a right-hand turn.
  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and signs.
  • Bicyclists are safer on the road than on sidewalks. Additionally, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is prohibited in certain areas, such as downtown Grand Rapids.

“Safe places to walk and bike are essential to supporting vibrant, active communities,” said Grand Rapids City Planner Suzanne Schulz. “We want to help Grand Rapids become known not only as ‘Furniture City’ but also ‘Bicycle Safety City.’”

“Our Driving Change campaign fits with the city’s placemaking strategies,” she said, “and aligns with the vision of Grand Rapids business and civic leaders who understand bicycling can serve as a tool to help attract and retain talent in an ever-increasing competitive employee recruitment landscape.”

Posted in News on

Bring Your Bike on Board Amtrak Pere Marquette Trains

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Have you ever dreamed of riding your own bike along Chicago’s lake shore? Well, now you can!

For the first time ever, bicycles are now welcome aboard Amtrak Pere Marquette trains. The Michigan Department of Transportation, Amtrak, The Rapid, Experience Grand Rapids and many other local and state organizations and community members celebrated the debut of Amtrak’s onboard bicycle racks at Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station. Bringing your bike is just $10 each way and requires a reservation. Up to 16 bicycles are allowed on the train at a time. Standard bike sizes apply. For more information, visit http://mitrain.com/pere-marquette/.

Bicycle on Amtrak train.

 

Posted in Rider Stories on

Rider Insight: Places to Go on Route 7 on Sunday

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The following is written by Mike Ewer, a Grand Rapids citizen and Rapid rider. 

While many people work Sundays to provide us with the services we have come to expect (including Rapid Bus Operators and support staff), there are also a number of reasons to enjoy free time on this day. Now you can enjoy it more by using the new Route 7 Sunday service!

For those looking to take advantage of this day of rest, here are some options to fill your calendar.

Churches

For many, Sunday is a day of worship – and what better way to prepare for a morning of worship than to leave your parking woes in your driveway? Here’s a selection of churches on Route 7:

Crossroads Bible Church
800 Scribner Ave NW
Westbound trip bus stop: Scribner & Sixth
Eastbound trip bus stop: Turner & Seventh

This church was brought together in the industrial district on the west bank of the Grand River in 2014.

St Mary’s Catholic Church
423 First St NW

Westbound trip bus stop: Scribner & Bridge (1/4 mile)
Eastbound trip bus stop: Turner & First

St. Mary’s offers masses in English and Spanish on Sundays at the Gothic-style structure erected in 1873 for the German population of Grand Rapids. The church steeple is 200 feet tall.

Other churches on Route 7: Seventh Reformed, West Leonard Christian, Westview Christian Reformed, Leonard Heights Baptist, Mount Olive Lutheran.

Outdoors

Fish Ladder
560 Front Ave NW
Westbound trip bus stop: Scribner & Fourth
Eastbound trip bus stop: Turner & Seventh (1/4 mile)

Established in 1974, the Fish Ladder is a sculpture by Joseph Kinnebrew. It serves an environmental purpose, allowing fish in the Grand River to navigate around the Fourth Street Dam to complete their life cycle upstream.

It was built with community support and participation in mind. Spectators of all ages can observe nature working around man’s obstructions.

Historic bridge and riverside parks
Westbound trip bus stop: Scribner & Sixth
Eastbound trip bus stop: Turner & Seventh (1/4 mile)

Cross the Sixth Street Bridge to two riverside parks in the North Monroe district that extend along the east bank of the Grand River from the US-196 Bridge to Leonard Street.

Sixth Street Bridge: Built in 1886, this is the longest and oldest metal truss bridge in Michigan. It was renovated in 2012 to maintain this icon of the north side of downtown for years to come.

Sixth Street Bridge Park: A small riverside park with pavilions, a sculpture and views of the Fourth Street Dam and Sixth Street Bridge.

Canal Park: More a landscaped riverside footpath than a park, it includes a children’s playground and a number of viewing points along the river.

Rainy Day

Museums and Indoor Recreation
Westbound trip bus stop: Scribner & Pearl
Eastbound trip bus stop:  Mt Vernon near Pearl

Enjoy the newly remodeled Gerald R. Ford Museum, dedicated to GR’s most famous son. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is currently home to the fun Robot Zoo exhibit, and don’t forget to ride the carousel!

The Downtown YMCA features indoor sports, water sports and free childcare for members while they work out.

Wengers Bowling Center
629 Leonard St NW
Leonard & Seward

An institution on the Westside for over 75 years, Wengers has two floors of bowling lanes.

Breakfast

Sandy’s Donuts
2040 Leonard St NW
Leonard & Covell

A Westside institution, Sandy’s has some of the best yeast doughnuts in the city.

welcome to the west side.

Lunch & Drinks

“Firehouse Corner”
527-537 Leonard St NW
Westbound trip bus stop: Leonard & Hamilton
Eastbound  trip bus stop: Leonard & Quarry

The Mitten Brewing Company and Long Road Distillers occupy opposite corners on the north side of Leonard. Both locations feature locally produced drinks and some inspired food.

Black Heron
428 Bridge St NW
WB Scribner & Bridge; EB Turner & First

This new upscale gastropub features crafty eats to match its beer, wine and cocktail selection.

The 7 also offers an alternate route to Stockbridge businesses such as Harmony Hall, which is just a short walk to the west of here.

Groceries

Ralph’s Food Market
655 Leonard St NW

A popular store for the local neighborhood, this independent supermarket has long opening hours seven days a week. Food assistance program payments are accepted. Ralph’s also has a lot of supplies for the Westside’s Polish ethnicity.

Supermercado Michoacan
602 Leonard St NW

A goldmine for anyone in need of Hispanic grocery supplies, and includes a bakery, butcher and a bill-payment counter.

About the Author

Mike Ewer has lived in West Michigan since 1999, and in Grand Rapids since 2008. The Ewer family started riding The Rapid as soon as they arrived in Grand Rapids, and has been carless since 2011. Living in the Harrison Park neighborhood since 2014, they are happy to have access to Sunday Route 7 service.

 

Posted in Places to Go on

Ride The Rapid to Derby Station

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Sticking to a tight budget can be a challenge when it comes to dining out. On this week’s FOX 17 Thrifty Thursday special, we’re featuring  a restaurant where you can get a great deal on vegetarian-friendly cuisine every Monday, as well as drink specials throughout the rest of the week.

Derby Station is located in East Grand Rapids in Gaslight Village at 2237 Wealthy St. SE. You can’t miss the gorgeous wood and brick exterior. Calling themselves the local pub of East Grand Rapids, Derby Station’s menu features diverse cuisine ranging from Fish-n–Chips to Gaslight Village Jambalaya. Diners will also be met with a beverage menu boasting 36 beers on tap, ranging from classic Founders Brewing Co. to international selections. If you’re looking to try a new food or drink, Derby Station is the place to go.

Derby Station Deals We Love

-   Derby Station Mug Club members receive half off of all appetizers and $2 off beer from Monday – Thursday, as well as other deals.
-   Meatless Mondays:  Half off some of the healthier options on the menu.
-  Half off all glasses of wine on Tuesdays.
-  $2 off all pints of Michigan beer on Wednesdays.
-  $2 off a “special” glass of beer on Thursdays.
- Every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. $4.50 hand-crafted Bloody Mary’s.

Plan your trip to Derby Station. 

Posted in News on

Upcoming Routes & Service Changes: Mark Your Calendars for May 9, 2016

Alert

On May 9, 2016, there will be several route and schedules changes that go into place across the system. Please plan your travel accordingly.

Routes changes

Route 24
Eastbound: Camelot to Lake Eastbrook, left on Lake Eastbrook to 28th St, right on 28th St to enter Kentwood Station by Flag Star Bank.
Westbound: Depart Kentwood Station left onto outer mall drive to Radcliff, left on Radcliff to 28th St, left on 28th St to Lake Eastbrook, left on Lake Eastbrook to Camelot, right on Camelot to East Paris.

Route 17: Added Trip
One trip will be added to the service day; this trip will express to the airport via Broadmoor to 44th Street, and then travel regular route back to Woodland Mall.

Route 5: Added Trip
One northbound trip will be added at 11:40 p.m.; this trip will connect with the 12:15 a.m. lineup.

Schedules changes

There are schedule changes for the following routes on the corresponding days listed.

Route 6Northbound departure times from Woodland Mall adjusted on weekdays, Saturday & Sunday.

Route 7: Hourly Sunday service from 8:15 a.m.-6:41 p.m.

Route 10Northbound Sunday departure times from 54th Street Meijer adjusted.

Route 16: Northbound Sunday departures times from Metro Health adjusted.

Route 24: Westbound weekday and Saturday arrival & departure times adjusted.

Kentwood Station Changes

The routes 5, 24, and 17/44 will change slots at the Kentwood Station platform.