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Women of The Rapid

Women of The Rapid

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the hardworking, dedicated women who keep the Greater Grand Rapids community moving through a portrait series. These women are the friendly smile when boarding the bus, the voice on the radio helping to navigate an emergency detour, and the hands on the wheel.  The Rapid’s Transportation team is made up of women serving as Bus Operators, Dispatchers, and Transportation Supervisors. But these women are more than just their job titles. They are assets to our community as mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, daughters, small business owners, volunteers, and so much more.

Women’s History Month is the annual declared month highlighting the contribution of women to events in history. In the United States, the history of this month can be traced back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911.

The Rapid has partnered with Women’s Lifestyle Magazine to share the portraits and words of the outstanding women that make up our team. Follow Women’s Lifestyle Magazine on Instagram to view all of the portraits: https://www.instagram.com/womenslifestylegr/

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Bus Operator of the Month: February 2019

Bus Operator of the Month

Each month, we honor a Rapid Bus Operator for going above and beyond in their work. The winners are nominated by their peers and awarded by the Transportation Department for their hard work and dedication.

Our Bus Operator of February 2019 is Kendra T.! Here’s what she had to share with us:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE RAPID?

7 years

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A BUS OPERATOR AT THE RAPID?

I enjoy the constant movement of being out around the city. I enjoy meeting new people every day.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

I’m passionate about my family. My husband and I have eight children together. As a family, we enjoy camping, traveling and experiencing new adventures together.

Kendra T. Bus Operator

Keep up the good work, Kendra!

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Ride The Rapid to Events Throughout March 2019

March 2019 Events

Spring is just around the corner. Spend your last few days of winter enjoying these events in and around Grand Rapids.

West Michigan Home & Garden Show

Whether you’re looking for home improvement ideas, or just a weekend out of the house the Home & Garden Show will have something for you. Held at the Devos Place from Feb. 28 – March 3, this show features garden demos and exhibitions of all kinds. Adult admission is $10 online and $12 at the door. Multi-day tickets can be purchased for $18 online.

Beer Month GR

Save the craft during Beer Month GR! This month-long celebration runs until March 15.  Choose from a variety of deals at various bars and breweries in Grand Rapids. You can ride The Rapid to many of these events. For more information, please visit: https://www.experiencegr.com/beer-month/

LaughFest

Gilda’s LaughFest is back in Grand Rapids from March  7 – March 17. This 10-day event features a variety of stand up comedians, improv comedy, and more! Plan your next night out with the full list of funny stuff here: https://www.laughfestgr.org/

Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series

Are you ready for a rush of adrenaline and family fun? Head to Van Andel Arena for an evening of Monster Trucks with Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series. Tickets are available for March 22 – March 24. 

Grand Rapids Drive

Head to the DeltaPlex for a night of basketball with your Grand Rapids Drive players. There are games throughout March, so don’t miss any of the action. Tickets range in price from $5 to $75.

Irish On Ionia

Michigan’s largest St. Patrick’s Day street party is back for its ninth year! Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 16 for Irish on Ionia. Beer, live music and traditional Irish fare are just a few of the main attractions. Tickets range in price from $20-65.

Grand Rapids Symphony – Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of The Black Pearl

Your favorite pirate crew comes alive on screen with the sounds of the Grand Rapids Symphony. Bring your family and friends to this evening of swashbuckling fun at DeVos Performance Hall from March 8 – 10. Tickets are  $18 for adults and $5 for students.

Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey

Catch the latest Griffins match this month. Don’t wait to get the best seats in the house. As always, you can ride for free to and from Friday home games by showing your game tickets to your bus operator. View the schedule and buy tickets here: https://griffinshockey.com/tickets

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Bus Operator of the Month: January 2019

Bus Operator of The Month

Each month, we have the opportunity of honoring a Rapid Bus Operator who has gone above and beyond in their job to keep the community moving. These bus operators are nominated by their peers and awarded by the Transportation Department for their hard work and dedication.

Our Bus Operator of January 2019 is LaCheree T! Here’s what she had to share with us:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE RAPID?

March will mark my two years at The Rapid.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A BUS OPERATOR AT THE RAPID?

I like meeting new people and making sure they get to their destination safely and in a timely manner.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

I enjoy shopping, traveling, cooking and spending time with my friends and family. I really love watching the Lifetime Movie Network!

Lacheree Bus Operator

Congratulations, LaCheree! Thank you for all you do.

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Highlighting Grand Rapids Community Support During Power Outages

Villa Maria Evacuation Photo

Our recent winter weather events have left us feeling especially proud of Grand Rapids, the city we call home. Watching the community step up to care for those in need is something we’d be remiss not to echo our appreciation for.

Last Friday more than 100,000 Kent County residents were without power. Officials at the City of Grand Rapids’ Emergency Operations Center (EOC) asked for help evacuating the Villa Maria retirement community. The Rapid’s Bus Operators answered the call with warm buses and warm hearts. The seniors were taken to a Red Cross shelter at GRPS’ Union High School where they’d be able to access warmth and food. Fifty to one hundred seniors ultimately made the trip on four of The Rapid’s buses, assisted by family, community members, GRPD, and others.

Thank you to our community’s tireless first responders for caring for those in need.

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World of Winter Festival Transforms Downtown Grand Rapids from Feb. 14 -17

World of Winter Festival 2019

Got a case of the winter blues? We’ve got you covered. Hop on board for a ride to the second annual World of Winter Festival in downtown Grand Rapids. 

This four-day ice extravaganza begins on Feb. 14 and hosts a variety of free and low-cost frozen fun activities and events for all ages. Downtown Grand Rapids will be decorated with more than 50 ice sculptures, too! Don’t worry about driving in cold conditions. The Rapid offers many fare-free routes to help you get around easily.

Events on Feb. 14

Relax at Rosa on Ice

Spend your lunch hour enjoying free live music, free ice skating, ice games and more. You can also grab a bite from one of the local food trucks. The event begins at 12 p.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle.

Love on Ice

Looking for a romantic evening activity? Spend Valentine’s Day outside at Rosa Parks Circle! This event is from 6 – 10 p.m. and includes 2 for 1 ice skating, free professional photographs, free hot chocolate, and more!

Snowshoe at the Park

Enjoy the beauty of nature with snow under your feet! This free event is at Ah-Nab-Awen Park from 6 – 8 p.m. Snowshoes will be provided.

Events on Feb. 15

Valent-ICE

Enjoy over 50 ice sculptures around downtown. You can even join one of the walking tours provided by Downtown GR.

Silent Disco

This futuristic dance party begins at 7 p.m. at 555 Monroe Ave NW. Guests wear wireless headphones and can tune into any of the DJs’ channels. There will also be ice beer pong, food trucks, and a photo booth. This event is only for those 18+.

Events on Feb. 16

Black History Walking Tour

Grand Rapids Running Tours is hosting a free walk through Grand Rapids’ Black History.

Paint the Park

This community art experience is a great time for all ages. All ages are welcome to grab a brush and help paint the Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink from 12 – 6 p.m.

Events on Feb. 17

Human Hungry Hungry Hippos on Ice

Do you remember this fun board game? Watch it come to life on ice! You can register your team here until Feb. 1! This event is from 12:30 – 7:00 pm at Rosa Parks Circle.

Looking for more fun activities? Head here for the full list.

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Ride The Rapid to Events Throughout February 2019

February Events

There’s no shortage of winter fun all February long. Whether you’re planning a trip with your sweetheart in honor of Valentine’s Day or just avoiding cabin fever with your kids, there’s something for everyone’s calendar. 

Here are some events we can get you to this month:

Downtown Market Ice Bar: Tropical Chill

Need a fun Valentine’s Day date idea? Hop a ride over to the Downtown Market on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. You can enjoy frozen tundra yard games and frosty tropical cocktails from the Ice Bar.

Michigan International Auto Show

The Silver Line can get you within steps of DeVos Place for the coolest display of cars and trucks this year. The Auto Show runs from Jan. 31 – Feb. 3. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children.

Relax at Rosa on ICE: A World of Winter Event

Spend your lunch break with live music and food trucks! This event includes free ice skating, foosball and ice games. This is just one of many events that make up the World of Winter Festival running from Feb. 14 – Feb. 17.

Beer Month GR

Are you a Beer City Brewsader? Enjoy a month of specials at various craft breweries in GR. Beer Month takes place Feb. 15 – Mar. 15. Plenty of time to grab a pint and enjoy!

MAMMA MIA!

Take a ride to Grand Rapids Civic Theatre for this ultimate feel-good show. This musical is showing Feb. 22 – 24, 27 – 28 and Mar. 1 – 3, 6 – 10 and 13 – 17. You won’t want to miss it.

Taste of Soul Sunday

Celebrate African American history and culture at Grand Rapids Public Library. Free food samples, live music, and family crafts will be available as well. The event is on Feb. 17 from 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Chiaroscuro International Film Series

You can catch two of the showings on Feb. 10 and Feb. 24 for free at the UICA. The event is free and open to the public.

Artist Talk: Dylan Miner

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is hosting activist and scholar, Dylan Miner to talk about his GRAM exhibition Water is Sacred // Trees are Relative. Enjoy this free discussion about the Great Lakes watershed and region on Feb. 21 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Disney On Ice presents Frozen

On Feb. 28, take your family to Van Andel Arena for a night of Disney magic and your favorite Frozen characters. Ticket prices vary. 

Valentine’s Dash 5K

Explore the trails and roads of Kentwood on Feb. 9 with your sweetheart. Starting at the Kentwood Library at 11 a.m., this course is great for first-time runners but will also provide a challenge to more experienced runners. There’s even an after-party with music, Valentines-themed snacks, a photo booth, the award ceremony and

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The Rapid Teams up With Kids’ Food Basket for Emergency Food Distribution

The Rapid teams up with Kids' Food Basket

The Rapid is proud to partner with Kids’ Food Basket to provide emergency food assistance to families impacted by the extreme weather. Rapid Central Station, along with the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Seymour Christian Reformed Church and Kids’ Food Basket will be distribution sites for food on Thursday, Jan. 31 and Friday, February 1, from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

 “During severe weather events like this one, we all have to pull together to meet the critical needs of our community. We’re glad Kids’ Food Basket reached out and are happy to support their efforts,” Andrew Johnson, The Rapid CEO.

Location information:

  • — The David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • — Families visiting the downtown YMCA location can enter through the main entrance and follow the signage to the community room to receive your meal.
  • — The Rapid Central Station, 250 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • — Seymour Christian Reformed Church, 840 Alger St SE, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • — Kids’ Food Basket, 2055 Oak Industrial Drive, Suite C, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Kids’ Food Basket serves over 8,000 kids at 48 schools in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland. More than 250 volunteers each day help prepare, pack and deliver Sack Suppers

Anyone wanting to help can click here for more information.

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The Rapid’s Outstanding Employees of 2018

Employees of the Year 2018

Each January, we gather to acknowledge and celebrate the excellence of our employees. We recognize the year’s most exceptional administrative employee, technician and bus operator. This year, we’re proud to announce The Rapid’s 2018 Employees of the Year.

Dennis H. – Technician of the Year

Dennis H is a technician at The Rapid

Sidney W. – Bus Operator of the Year

Sidney is Bus Operator of the Year

 Emily S. – Recruitment Administrator, Administrative Employee of the Year

Emily Admin Employee of the Year
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Ride The Rapid to Events Throughout January 2019

January 2019 Events

Hello, 2019! Avoid cabin fear and welcome in the new year by getting out and exploring.

Here are some events we can get you to this month:

Funniest Person in Grand Rapids (Week 1)

Are you the funniest person in Grand Rapids? Dr. Grin’s Comedy Club is hosting a competition on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. to glean the top comedy talent in West Michigan. Contestants will duke it out for $1,500 and the tile of “Funniest Person In Grand Rapids 2019!” Tickets are $5

Winter Market Opening Day

Fulton Street Market opens for the winter season on Jan. 5 and runs through April 27. Don’t miss out on local fare in the winter months! There will be a colorful array of 20+ vendors with locally-grown produce, Michigan-raised meats, dairy, and eggs, food creations and artisan goods! View the market schedule here

Snowshoe Hike

Visit Blandford Nature Center to “test-drive” a pair of snowshoes on Jan. 5! While practicing your snowshoe skills, hike along with one of our naturalists to discover the secret world hidden within the Winter Wonderland at Blandford Nature Center. Register and get your tickets here

Indie Flea Market

The first Saturday of every month, visit Wealthy Theatre for access to ethically and environmentally responsible local vendors. Shop and enjoy local music while you find the perfect gifts for you or someone you love. This event is free and takes place on Jan. 5. 

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra Live

Visit Founders Taproom on Jan. 6 to enjoy tunes from the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. This is a free event. 

Grand Rapids Camper, Travel and RV Show

Ride with us to DeVos place for The Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show. This event features a dozen West Michigan RV dealers representing more than 100 RV lines combined with 200,000+ square feet results in the biggest RV Show in the state. Along with new RV’s, we have a remarkable selection of RV accessories, campgrounds and travel destinations! This event takes place Jan. 17 – 20. Get your tickets here.

Pop Up Record Swap and Shop

Harmony Brewing is hosting their first ever record swap event on Jan. 10 from 7 – 11 p.m. Ride with us to get to Harmony and bring your records to sell or swap. They will have an open mic-style DJ set up. Eat, drink, groove and enjoy!

Downtown Market Wedding Showcase

On Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., visit the Downtown Market to get a look at all of this venue’s fantastic wedding capabilities. This event features a tour, tastings, a chance to meet photographers and videographers and so much more. 

Poetry Showcase at The Knickerbocker – New Holland Brewing

If you love poetry, you won’t want to miss this showcase on Jan. at The Knickerbocker. This event will be hosted by Rachel Gleason and feature special guest artists Regina Cassese, Jocelyn J Barnes, and Amanda Zerilli. The special feature this time around will be KFG. Learn more about this event here.

WinterWest 

WinterWest is a winter fun, free event in collaboration with the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Rec Department, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and West Grand Neighborhood Organization to encourage outdoor park engagement during the chilly winter months.

This event is free to the public. The popular youth and adult crazy cardboard sled races return this year! Bring your family and friends and enjoy hot chocolate, kid activities, snowman and snow fort building, and more!