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Creating A New Cultural Mindset Towards Transit – Dr. Thomas Haas

Dr. Thomas Haas, President, Grand Valley State University

Dr. Thomas Haas, President, Grand Valley State University

The connection between Grand Valley State University’s Allendale and downtown Grand Rapids campuses was a natural thanks to partnership with The Rapid. It was a natural for creating convenience and affordability. Buses leave each campus every six minutes at peak times due to demand. Finding a parking space at both campuses is less of a burden. Costs are lower for students to ride The Rapid than if they commuted on their own.

Even more important to Haas, the partnership with The Rapid achieves a greater mission for GVSU – sustainability through an alternative mode of transportation. In fact, sustainability has been elevated to a value statement within the University’s mission statement.

“It’s natural. It’s a habit. It enhances the quality of life.”

Haas finds the role of The Rapid satisfying because they are creating a different cultural mindset for transit with next generation. That said, many faculty and staff, as well as the president and his wife choose to use The Rapid.

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Public Transportation Is For Everyone – Casey Dutmer

Casey Dutmer, Community Transit Activist

Casey Dutmer, Community Transit Activist

While Casey Dutmer has lived without sight since birth, his perspective on public transportation has never been about disabled community alone. In his opinion, it’s for everyone.

“Good public transportation means good economic growth and development.”

Casey has studied transportation systems all around the country. The consistency between all of them is a concentration of business and housing to create complete neighborhoods. Dutmer passionately believes we should have the best public transportation to attract opportunities like tourism, sporting events, and grow business.

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Public Transportation Enables People To Move Up The Economic Ladder – Win Irwin

Win Irwin, President, Irwin Seating Company

Win Irwin, President, Irwin Seating Company

The more public transportation options we can provide, the more we enable people to move up the economic ladder, and that’s good for all of us.

As a previous chairman of the Kent/Allegan County Workforce Development Board, a part of Michigan Works, Win Irwin has been given a up-close view of the challenges of getting – and keeping – people employed. Getting a job can be challenging enough. Getting to a job shouldn’t be. He’s learned that by connecting employees and employers using appropriate transportation solutions gives a lifeline to employment. Employees win. Employers win. Our local economy benefits. And that helps all of us.