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Ride The Rapid to Beltine Bar

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Ride the Silver Line, Route 1 or Route 28 to head to one of Grand Rapids staple dining establishments! If you’re looking for a great atmosphere and a good deal, Beltline Bar is worth visiting.

When you’re dining out on a budget, keeping track of weekly deals can save you a lot. This is why we’ve partnered with FOX 17  for Thrifty Thursday to bring you transit-friendly and wallet-friendly destinations throughout Grand Rapids.

Sizzling fajitas, wet burritos and margaritas! The menu at Beltline Bar has something for everyone to love.  Located on 28th Street and Division Ave., you can dine-in or get food to go any day of the week. Their Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3p.m. – 6p.m. and 10p.m. – close. During this time you can get $5 margaritas, $2 select drafts, $3 baja eggrolls, $3 chicken quesadillas and $3 chips and cheese.

Best Beltline Bar Deal

Every Thursday, you can enjoy a margarita and a fajita for $12.99.

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An Afternoon at Rapid Central Station

Rapid Central Station

Every day, more than 9,000 people pass through Rapid Central Station on their way to work, errands and appointments. When was the last time you stopped to take in your surroundings while visiting Rapid Central Station?

Rapid Central Station is The Rapid’s intermodal transit station located in downtown Grand Rapids. Steps away from the heart of the city, Central Station is steps away from many beloved destinations including Van Andel Arena and Founders Brewing Co. Built in 2004, Central Station was the world’s first LEED-certified transit facility. The Rapid’s fixed routes and the Silver Line travel to this hub. It’s also home to a Greyhound and Indian Trails terminal, as well as being located just yards from Grand Rapids’ Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station.

Some notable features of Rapid Central Station include the white undulating fiberglass roof of Rapid Central Station’s structure, which has become an eye-catching addition to the Grand Rapids skyline. Central Station also has a green LiveRoof and live wall. This intermodal bus station is also homes to a variety of art that ranges from sculptures to murals. 

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Route & Service Changes Coming on Aug. 29, 2016

Route Changes

It’s that time of year again! Fall changes to fixed routes will go into effect on Monday, August 29, 2016. Here’s what you should be prepared for:

-    Afternoon peak service will start earlier and conclude earlier: 3:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

-    Route 16: New routing at Metro Hospital
-    Route 16 will now travel by the Wyoming VA Health Care Center on the same side of the street to and from Metro Hospital.

-    Route 19: Will be the Michigan Crosstown and feature new routing from Oak Industrial to Seward and 7th Street. This route will run during peak service only: 5:30 a.m. – 8 a.m; 3:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

-    Route 50: New downtown routing with service to Walker Fire Station Park and Ride Lot.

-    Routes 37 & 85: New routing with service to The Enclave at University Parkway.

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Places To Go: 10 Events to Ride The Rapid to in August

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It’s hard to believe it’s already August! Where has this summer gone? If you’re like us, you may still have a dreamy summer to-do list that you haven’t quite made it through. Never fear, there are still so many ways to make the most of the warm days and longer evenings.

This August, get out and explore all that Grand Rapids and the suburbs have to offer by riding The Rapid to a variety of unique events. Many of the events that made our list are free or low-cost, making them affordable for everyone’s summer budget. Whether it’s heading to the the John Ball Park Zoo with your children or taking in one of the many outdoor summer concerts, we hope to see you on board as we get you to these great August events.

1. GRAM on the Green

Spend your Thursday evenings at the Grand Rapids Art Museum! On Meijer Free Thursdays, the museum stays open late so you have more time to explore. You’ll also get the chance to enjoy free live music outdoors, food trucks, a well-stocked cash bar.

Route 6, 9, 11, 13, SL can get you there. Plan your trip.

2. WGVU Kids Day at the Zoo

Friday, August 5, Ride The Rapid to John Ball Park for fun for the whole family! WGVU Public Media and Meijer has teamed up to present Kids Day at The Zoo. It’s just $4.00 per person with a voucher, while kids one and under can enter for free. Vouchers are available at Meijer, Kent District Library locations, Flagstar Bank and Fox Honda. Kids Day takes place from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Route 12, 50 can get you there. Plan your trip.

3. First Friday Gallery Hops

Make your way to South Division Avenue on August 5 for First Fridays Gallery Hops from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. This event is the perfect excuse to discover artwork by local artists, handmade goods and wonderful food and drink specials. Save time and money by riding The Rapid.

The Silver Line and Routes 1, 3, 4, 6, 13, 14, 15 can get you to Division Avenue.

4. Cherry Street Music Series

On August 18, get on board the Route 6 to travel to the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF). You’ll be able to enjoy the musical stylings of the Isaac Norris Project in ICCF’s beautiful garden. Admission is free and all donations taken will benefit Family Have, ICCF’s emergency shelter for families who are experiencing homelessness.

Routes 4, 6 can get you there. Plan your trip.

5. 2016 Summer Concert Series: Made in the Mitten

On August 22 and 23, take a ride around the mitten with Michigan’s best in this concert inspired by legends like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Madonna. Local vocalists and musicians will be performing at Circle Theatre covering song we all know and love. Tickets are just $18.

Routes 6, 14 can get you there. Plan your trip.

6. HopStock

Head down to Calder Plaza on  Saturday, August 13, for a celebration of beer, collaboration and music! HopStock celebrates all the Grand Rapids Area Brewing Community has to offer. Advance tickets (21+ only) are $35 and features a 6:30 p.m. entry time, 10 tasting tickets and a reusable tasting cup. There’s also a VIP ticket that offers a 5:30 p.m. entry time, 15 tasting tickets and a reusable tasting cup.

Routes 11, 13 and the Silver Line. Plan your trip.

7. Movies in the Park

Ride The Rapid to Ah-Nab-Awen Park to watch Edward Scissorhands on August 5 and Ferris’ Bueller’s Day Off on August 19. Movies start at dusk, but come at 7:00 p.m. to enjoy pre-movie activities, food, fun and a movie. An early arrival time also ensures you get the best spot in the park.

Routes 11, 13 and the Silver Line can get you there. Plan your trip.

8. GRandJazzFest

The fifth annual GRandJazzFest takes place on August 20 and 21 at Rosa Parks Circle in the heart of Grand Rapids. Enjoy performances from notable jazz musicians as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences. No admission is required for this family-friendly event. All you’ll need is a blanket or folding chairs and some snacks.

Routes 6, 9, 11, 13 and the Silver Line can get you there. Plan your trip.

9. Hispanic Festival 2016

The 39th annual Hispanic Festival will be taking place at Calder Plaza on August 26 through August 28. Mark your calendars for a chance to enjoy delicious food, great music and a mix of culture from different Latin American countries.

Routes 11, 13 and the Silver Line can get you there. Plan your trip.

10. Metro Health Farm Market

Ride Route 16 to get to the Metro Health Farm Market in Wyoming. Featuring a variety of goods from 60 local vendors, there’s something for everyone to love at this market. Visit on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October for fresh local goods and a fun-for-the-whole-family environment!

Route 16 can get you there. Plan your trip.

 

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Grand Rapids Community College to Offer Semester-Long Bus Pass

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Beginning this fall, Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) will offer a new semester-long bus pass for students, faculty and staff. This pass is part of a team effort with The Rapid to provide alternative transportation options to those traveling to and from the GRCC campus.

GRCC’s student newspaper, The Collegiate, shared the following insight from Evan Macklin, assistant director of Student Life: “This agreement was established in response to feedback from Student Alliance meetings throughout the year. We’re hoping that there’s a huge interest,” Macklin said. “We’d love to see the campus community take ownership and make their community sustainable as well and this is one step towards that goal.”

 

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Ride The Rapid to Fulton Street Farmers Market

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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, dig into fresh, local goods.

Did you know that Fulton Street Farmer’s Market is the oldest and largest in Grand Rapids? This market also happens to be one of the largest farmers’ markets in the state, with 118 vendors booths and more than 200 vendors rotating throughout the year. Established in 1922, Fulton Street Farmers Market is still serving up fresh local goods for the community to devour. You can find anything from traditional fruits and vegetables, to homemade foods and crafts.

Unlike most markets, the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market runs all year long. The season starts in May and continues until mid-December, open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They’re also open all winter long, from January to April on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What makes them unique from other farmer’s markets, is that they are a part of the Double Up Food Buck Program, so they accept payment from a bridge card. If you go to the farmer’s market, you can have $20 worth of spending money on local produce.

Stop by their office and mention that you saw the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market on the FOX17′s Morning Mix, they’ll sell you a reusable bag for just $2, or you can buy 3 for only $5.

Also for a limited time only, if you have a bridge card, they’ll double the amount of money you can spend at the farmer’s market. Mention the Morning Mix, and you’ll receive $40 worth of spending money at the market instead of $20.

Posted in Places to Go on

7 Farmers Markets to Ride The Rapid to this Summer

Crowds are Fulton Street Farmers Market

Summer is well underway, which means one thing: a plethora of fresh produce. Cherries, blueberries, arugula, and carrots – whatever you’re craving to put on your plate this summer, you can find it grown locally! Have you dug into some locally grown goodies this summer yet?

While many Grand Rapidians opt for shares in the local harvests of community supported agriculture programs (CSA) such as those run by Blanford Farm, others prefer to make the weekly journey to their local farmers markets to fill their baskets. Fortunately, Grand Rapids and our surrounding suburbs have a number of fantastic farmers markets within walking distance from several bus routes.

So grab your grocery bag, put on a pair of comfortable shoes, and get ready for a healthy and green shopping experience. For directions, check out The Rapid’s trip planner or you can plan your trip via Google Maps. Bonus: Many of these markets accept food assistance programs this year. Don’t miss the chance to stop by these great markets this summer:

1. Fulton Street Farmers Markets

Did you know that this is Grand Rapids’ oldest and largest farmers market? Established in 1922, Fulton Street Farmers Market is still serving up fresh local goods for the community to devour. Visit the market every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Located off of Route 14 and Route 19.

2. Grandville Farmer’s Market

Ride The Rapid to visit this outdoor market every Tuesday, from June through October. The market hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  And if you forget your bag or purchase more than you can carry, reusable market bags are for sale at the market or city hall for just $1.00!

Located off of Route 8.

3. Kentwood Farmers Market

Located at the Kentwood branch of the Kent District Library, the Kentwood Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through October. Rain or shine, you’ll find fresh produce, meat, coffee, granola and more from local vendors.

Ride Routes 2 and 44.

4. GVSU Farmers Market

You don’t have to be a Grand Valley State University student, faculty or staff to visit the GVSU Farmers Market! Ride Route 50 to Allendale Parking Lot G to discover delicious local food and goodies. The market is open every Wednesday through the end of October from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Located off of Route 50.

5. Metro Health Farm Market

Ride Route 16 to get to the Metro Health Farm Market in Wyoming. Featuring a variety of goods from 60 local vendors, there’s something for everyone to love at this market. Visit on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. For an extra special visit, stop by on Thursday, July 28, for Health and Wellness Day. This event features a chef cook-off, health screenings and other family-friendly activities.

Ride Route 16.

6. Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

Get on board the bus to head to Martin Luther King Jr. Park at the corner of Franklin and Fuller to visit this farmers market. Every Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can find chemical-free produce, personal care items and crafts.

Ride Routes 2 and 5.

7. Urban Roots

Enjoying garden-to-table foods doesn’t have to mean leaving the city. Urban Roots’ mission is to cultivate durable and resilient communities, families and ecosystems through urban agriculture. Visit the Urban Roots farm stand at 1316 Madison Ave SE every Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ride Route 3.

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What’s a Clean Air Action Day?

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The summer sun is here to stay. While the warmest months of summer are upon us, it’s also the time of year to take action to reduce emissions of ozone-causing pollutants. That’s right, we’re talking about Clean Air Action Days! While many of you know that fares are waived on The Rapid during designated Clean Air Action Days, many of you may not be aware of how these air quality days are designated.

What’s a Clean Air Action Day?

Clean Air Action Days aren’t just designated based on high temperatures. A Clean Air Action Day is declared by the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition when weather conditions are likely to combine with pollution emissions to form high levels of ozone near the ground that may cause harmful health effects. There are many factors that contribute to a Clean Air Action Day, including high temperatures, light wind, no rain, and/or a wind direction blowing in polluted air from another area.

Interested in keeping up with Clean Air Action Days? You can check West Michigan Clean Air Coalition’s website for a two-day forecast of air quality: http://www.wmcac.org/forecast/todays_forecast.html.

What You Can Do To Help

Since breathing ozone can cause damage to lungs, as well as chest pain, coughing and throat irritation, people with respiratory diseases like asthma are encouraged to limit outdoor activity during times of poor air quality. The West Michigan Clean Air Coalition encourages people and businesses to take action like not riding in single occupancy vehicles, filling up the gas tank, or mowing the lawn to reduce emissions of ozone-causing pollutants during these times. Opting to ride the bus instead of driving your car is a great way to make an impact during Clean Air Action Days.

Did you know? Operating a gasoline-powered outboard motorboat for one hour produces as much ozone-causing VOCs as driving a car from Grand Rapids to New York City (about 800 miles).  Each individual action is important.  The cumulative actions of two million households can have a strong impact.

How Are Fares Covered During Clean Air Action Days?

The Rapid is reimbursed for fare revenue on Clean Air Action Days.  Because the Grand Rapids region is classified as a non-attainment area, meaning there are times when our air quality falls below the federal clean air standard, we have grants in place from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program.  These funds can be used for several things to help improve air quality, and one of them is offering free bus service to encourage the use of public transportation.  Reducing auto emissions is a great way to help reduce particulate matter (pollution) in the air we all breathe.  This is why people are also encouraged to forgo mowing and filling the gas tank—these activities also generate particulate matter.  So The Rapid is able to help contribute to cleaner air without losing out on fare revenue—it’s a win-win!

For more information about Clean Air Action Days, visit West Michigan Clean Air Action Coalition.

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Ride The Rapid to Catch ‘Em All

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Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm. If you’re not on board with this latest gaming trend, you’re missing out! We love this augmented-reality game because it offers a chance to get out and explore the city’s hot spots, landmarks and even make new friends. We’re here to connect you to gyms, Pokéstops and capturing Pokémon around Grand Rapids and the suburbs.

For you level five and over players, here are a few Pokémon gyms you can ride The Rapid to get to:

- The Blue Bridge, located near Front Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids

- Rosa Parks Circle, located at Monroe and Pearl in downtown Grand Rapids

- Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

- Calvin College, 3201 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

- Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

- Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

- Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401

- Rivertown Mall, 3700 Rivertown Pkwy, Grandville, MI 49418

Plan your trip by visiting our website: http://ridetherapid.org. If you happen to find a Pokémon on a bus or at a bus stop, don’t forget to tag the photo with #PokemonGORapid on Twitter and Instagram or post it to our Facebook page! We hope to see you on board.

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Ride The Rapid to These 10 Free Events in July

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Nothing quite compares to summer in Michigan. Embrace the sunshine and warmth we’re promised in July by getting out and exploring all that Grand Rapids and the suburbs have to offer. Whether you’re itching to get out and explore Grand Rapids parks, indulge in local craft beer or simply attend as many concerts as possible, there are a slew of fun places to go this month.

The best part of these events is that they’re all free admission, affordable and transit-friendly. This means you can leave your car at home, take a walk to your nearest bus stop and let The Rapid do the driving.

We hope to see you on board as we get you to these great events:

1. Jazz in the Park

Walk, bike or ride with us to Ah-Nab-Awen Park every Monday night in July to enjoy jazz from the West Michigan Jazz Society. You can even come straight from work! Jazz starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m.
Routes 7, 9 can get you there. Plan your trip.

2. Standale Summer Concert Series

Ride The Rapid to Walker Community Park on July 7 and July 21 for musical performances for the whole family. The shows kick off at 6:30 p.m.
Route 7, 12 can get you there. Plan your trip.

3. Vintage Street Market

Spend your Sunday searching for your next favorite vintage treasure at the Downtown Market’s Vintage Flea Market! Ride with us on July 10 to enjoy shopping and all the Downtown Market has to offer.
Routes 1, 2, SL can get you there. Plan your trip.

4. Free Grand Rapids Public Museum Day

If you’re seeking a budget-friendly excuse to explore indoors, don’t miss Free Day at Grand Rapids Public Museum on Sunday, July 10. From 12:00 p.m. to 5: 00 p.m., visitors will receive free general admission to explore three floors of core exhibits at no cost.
Routes 7, 9, 12 can get you there. Plan your trip.

5. Kentwood Summer Entertainment Series

Ride The Rapid to the lawn at Kentwood City Hall on July 14 and July 28 for food trucks and entertainment. You can also watch Frozen on July 21! Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and their own beverage to enjoy.
Route 2, 44 can get you there. Plan your trip.

6. Movies in the Park

Enjoy an evening in Ah-Nab-Awen Park for activities, food, fun and a movie. There are two movies taking place in July: A League of Their Own on July 8; The Mask of Zorro on July 22. Movies begin rolling at dusk but ride with us to get there at 7:00 p.m. to enjoy some entertainment and good eats while you settle into your spot by the river.

Routes 7, 9 can get you there. Plan your trip.

7. Swing Dance at the Park

Join Grand Rapids Swing Society for swing dancing in Ah-Nab-Awen Park and at Rosa Parks Circle. Every Tuesday in July, you’ll have an opportunity to get your groove on and enjoy the weather downtown.
Routes 7, 9 and 6, 9, 11, 13, SL can get you to either Ah-Nab-Awen Park or Rosa Parks Circle.

8. Relax at Rosa

Spend your Thursday lunch breaks or days off down at Rosa Parks Circle enjoying free entertainment. From 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., enjoy live entertainment, summer weather and food trucks downtown.
Routes 6, 9, 11, 13, SL can get you there. Plan your trip.

9. Free Community BBQ at Richmond Park

On Tuesday, July 26, grab your friends and family for an evening at Richmond Park. This free event will kick off with a small park enhancement project and end with a free BBQ featuring a fresh, nutritious menu.
Route 9 can get you there. Plan your trip

10. GRAM on the Green

Get on board to ride to the Grand Rapids Art Museum for Meijer Free Thursday Nights. The museum is open late and you’ll also get a chance to enjoy outdoor live music, dancing, food trucks, and a cash bar.
Route 6, 9, 11, 13, SL can get you there. Plan your trip.