Posted in Events on

The Rapid To Hold Job Fair

Are you or someone you know seeking employment? The Rapid is hosting a job fair on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at Rapid Central Station located at 250 Grandville Ave. SW on the second floor Community Room.Jobs Next Exit

The Rapid is seeking exceptional candidates that excel in customer service to fill Bus Operator positions to start training in May (6 to 8 openings) and June (10 to 12 openings). All bus operators start in a part-time status. Part-time bus operator’s work up to 29 hours a week at an hourly rate of $17.91.

To qualify, applicants will need:

– A valid Michigan Driver’s License (CDL certification preferred but not required at time of hire)
– A commitment to safety and customer service
– Excellent dependability
– Flexible scheduling (ability to work any shift, 7 days a week)
– Ability to pass a background check and drug screen

For additional information regarding the bus operator positions and to review the minimum qualifications, please visit ridetherapid.org.

For applicants attending the job fair, should bring their valid driver’s license.

If you’re unable to attend the job fair but still interested in a position, you may also apply in person Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at our Administrative offices located at 300 Ellsworth Avenue S.W. in Grand Rapids.

The Rapid is an equal opportunity employer. Women in minorities are encouraged to attend and apply.

Posted in In The Community on

Creative Mornings + The Rapid: Exploring Aboard The Silver Line

“Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.” – Hellen Keller

Going on an adventure doesn’t have to mean leaving your city, or even your neighborhood. And if you’re like us, any excuse to explore aboard a bus is a good one. So what was the excuse for our most recent bus adventure? Showing our new friends at Creative Mornings the hidden gems along the Silver Line route.

For the curious: Creative Mornings is a free breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Once a month they choose a theme and a speaker and make magic happen. On February 27, we’re lucky enough to have Rapid Central Station as the venue for their Climate event featuring Rachel Hood from WMEAC.

Inspired by our first Silver Line & Dine experience, the folks at Creative Mornings wanted to see what South Division had to offer their taste buds, as well as experience Michigan’s first bus rapid transit system. While the weather was freezing the Saturday we explored, the trip was resoundingly warm and delightful. Words don’t always do a good adventure justice, so here’s a glimpse into what took place:

Our trip started at the GRCC/Spectrum Silver Line station located at Ransom and Crescent traveling southbound.

It was indicated that coffee was necessary to fight the cold, so we got off at the next stop (Fulton)  and visited PaLatte Coffee & Art just across the street. Cappuccinos and muffins were enjoyed by all.

We then caught a southbound Silver Line at the Fulton station to head to Kim Nhung Super Store, the next stop on our itinerary.

Located a short walk from the 44th Street station, this Asian grocery is a must-visit for food lovers. From fresh fish and produce to a wall of ramen noodle offerings, there’s something at this store for every grocery list.

The last stop on our trip was lunch. Due to the weather we decided soup was a must. Thankfully Pho Soc Trang is in the same building as the grocery. Their pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) was the perfect remedy for the cold.

The ride home was noticeably quiet. After trudging through the snow and eating a warm lunch, the majority of the ride was spent enjoying the free Silver Line Wi-Fi and relaxing in the comfortable seating.

If you’re interested in having your own bus adventure, consider coming out to Creative Mornings at Rapid Central Station on Friday, February 27.  Tickets are available starting next Monday, February 23 at 9:30 am here.

 

 

Posted in Places to Go on

5 Transit-Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas

Nothing beats getting on board the bus with your sweetie. Forget the old “dinner and flowers” routine this February 14. Are you looking for a few ideas to set your Valentine’s Day apart from the rest? Grab your bus pass and your significant other for these wallet-friendly, public transit accessible date ideas: Heart-shaped transit map.

1. Who needs dinner when you can have brunch? Valentine’s Day dinner is a February 14th staple. We think it’s time to switch it up. Scrap the standard Valentine’s dinner plans and go out for breakfast, lunch, or better yet, brunch. Here are three brunch locations  for your consideration:

– The Westsider Cafe — Located on Walker Avenue and accessible via Routes 7 and 18.
– Anna’s House — Visit the East Beltline Avenue location by riding Routes 5, 6, 24, and 28.
– Terra — Brunch is from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. You can view their Valentine’s Day menu here. Get to this delicious eatery via Route 6.

2. Go see an early movie. Take this classic date idea to a new level by hitting the movie theater before everyone else. Here are a few transit-friendly movie locations to help make your Valentine’s Day a cinematic event:

– AMC Star Grand Rapids 18 — Ride Route 9 this theater.
Celebration! Cinema at Woodland Mall — You can get to this location via Routes 5, 6, 17, 24, 28, and 44. You can even do some shopping while you’re in the area.
UICA — Catch an indie film with your special someone. Get to this theater via 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, and 14.

3. Enjoy a day at the museum. Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to explore the a a museum with your significant other. You may even want to bring your children along for the ride. This Valentine’s Day the Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting a Fashion & Tea event. There are also many other museums downtown. You can plan your trip via Rapid Connect.

4. Fall in love with volunteering. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, so why not consider branching out from romance into charity and friendship? Whether you regularly volunteer at an organization or are just considering the idea, there’s many ways to give back on February 14. A quick online search can pull a number of reputable volunteer opportunities in the Grand Rapids area. Just be sure to check use the Rapid Connect Trip Planner to ensure that the destination and timing of your volunteer opportunity works for bus travel.

5. Explore Grand Rapids’ beer offerings. Since you won’t be driving, consider checking out local breweries with your love. You’ll be able to try different beers, enjoy a variety of food, and still travel the city safely. Plan your own Valentine’s Day beer tour by looking at the breweries throughout the city and checking out the Rapid system map. Plan your trip in advance to ensure that routes are running and you can plan out your arrival and departure times. May we suggest starting at Founders, just across the street from Rapid Central Station?

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show a little love. Simply riding the bus with a special someone to a favorite destination can even be a great way to spend the day.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans?

Posted in News on

#StuckInTraffic: Participate In A Twitter Town Hall With National Transportation Leaders

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The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Rep. Bill Shuster will be taking to Twitter today to answer questions about reauthorizing U.S. surface transportation; strengthening the Nation’s highways, bridges, and transit infrastructure; and the future of transportation in America. Follow @SecretaryFoxx and @Transport and keep up with the #StuckInTraffic hashtag. The Twitter Town Hall officially begins at 12 p.m. eastern time.

Posted in News on

Switching Up Your Winter Commute

Winter isn’t over yet. On Monday, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow portending six more weeks of winter. But that’s not all bad news. In fact, we think it’s a great opportunity to switch up your commute in the face of more winter weather conditions heading our way.

Rapid bus stop in the winter.For those who choose to commute mostly by car, have you considered changing the way you travel at least once a week? Riding the bus, walking, and biking are great ways to add some variety to your daily travel routine.

Here are five reasons to consider adding bus travel to your weekly commute this winter:

1. Let someone do the driving for you. Driving can be exhausting, especially in bad weather. Minimize the stress of driving on snowy, icy roads and let our bus operators handle your commute. Sit back, relax, read a book, get some work done, and even enjoy the free Wi-Fi if you’re riding the Silver Line. Many riders have found that when they’re not battling traffic they enjoy their day more and even see more things in the community they may have missed in their car.

2. Riding the bus could save you time. For those of you lacking a garage, winter means adding time to your mornings to ensure your car is free of snow and ice. If you know snow is in the forecast, consider saving time by riding the bus and save the hassle of clearing off your car for later in the day. Who knows what you can do with your extra time savings!

3. You’re safer in a bus than in a car. Unless you ride a snowmobile to work, poor road conditions make commuting in the winter a challenge for everyone. But even in optimal road conditions, you’re 60 times safer riding in a bus instead of a car. Avoid icy roads and bad drivers by getting on board.

4. You’ll increase your activity level. Public transportation can offer you more than just money and time savings. In fact, it can even add some exercise to your daily commute. Since you will be walking to and from your bus stop, as well as your destination, you’ll have a chance to get in more steps than you would while driving.

5. Riding the bus is easy. We have several digital tools to make riding the bus even smoother than before. You can track your bus in real time, find stops nearest to you via GPS location, plan your trip, and much more. Our drivers are also friendly resources for any of your questions.

If you factor in destination and timing, taking the bus can be a great option for those who typically commute by car.

Do you ride the bus for your winter commute?

Posted in News on

Improve Our Website In 10 Minutes

Take The Rapid website survey.

Out with the old and in with the new. The time has come to improve The Rapid website. To ensure that we’re providing you with the best hub to access all The Rapid offers, we’re seeking your input as we begin the process.

Whether you’re a new rider or a long-time friend of The Rapid, we want to know how you use ridetherapid.org. And there’s more in it for you than just an improved website. By taking this survey you also will be entered to fin a $50 Meijer gift card. You can find the survey here: http://bit.ly/RapidSurvey

We’re looking forward to receiving your input.

Posted in News on

Why Should You Be A Voice For Public Transit?

Whether you ride or not, public transit benefits all of us. It allows our community to come to life by keeping us moving. Public transit gets you to the places you need to go: work, school, errands, the doctor, entertainment, and much more.

Did you know?

– 35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
– Every $1 communities invest in public transportation approximately $4 is generated in economic returns.
– Every $10 million in operating investment in public transportation yields $32 million in increased business sales.
– Residential property values perform 42 percent better on average if they are located near public transportation with high-frequency service.
– 1.1 million jobs are created or sustained per year because of public transportation.

Are you ready to get on board?

Posted in News on

GVSU Students: 6 Tips For A Smoother Ride This Winter

Pure Michigan weather is back to it’s regularly scheduled program of snow, ice, and bitter cold. If braving the roads isn’t your cup of tea then The Rapid is a great option for commuting to campus, work, or just for fun. Recently the Grand Valley Lanthorn shared some recommendations to ensure your ride on The Rapid is as smooth as possible. Remember, the bus is free for all GVSU students, faculty and staff with a valid I.D.:

1. Be Courteous

It can be stressful trying to find a spot to sit or stand. If the bus is crowded, try to walk all the way to the back and avoid saving a seat for your backpack to make more space available for others. Keep your eye out for someone who might need a seat more than you do. Another piece of advice: avoid talking on the phone loudly. Chances are fellow riders will not want to hear all about your latest problems and concerns.

2. Be Safe

Riders should stay seated until they reach their destination. However, if the bus is crowded and standing is necessary, remember to hold onto either the overhead strap or the bars to the side. Balance will save you from falling on a stranger and creating an awkward situation. Be aware of your surroundings while waiting and riding the bus. If you feel uncomfortable, sit up front behind the bus driver.

3. Be Timely

Planning ahead is crucial, especially during peak times and when you are heading to an important appointment. For GVSU routes, the peak times for Monday through Thursday are 9 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Fridays are busy around 9 a.m. and noon, generally tapering off as it gets later in the afternoon.

4. Be Knowledgeable

Plan your route ahead of time so that you know when to pull the cord to signal to the driver that you will be exiting at the next stop. Don’t be afraid to ask the driver any questions about your route. Learn the bus schedule so that you don’t have to wait outside in the cold for longer than necessary. The Route 50 buses run every six minutes on weekdays and about every hour on weekends. Check gvsu.edu/bus for more specific times.

5. Be Careful

When you get ready to exit, remember to gather all of your personal items and winter accessories you brought along during your ride. Left something behind? All forgotten items are kept at Central Station. You can call The Rapid Information line at (616) 776-1100 anytime Monday through Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m or contact or contact Lost & Found online.

6. Get The App

Want to know exactly when the bus will arrive? Search for The Rapid bus routes on the MyStop app (iPhone only) or the Transit App (iPhone or Android). Don’t have a smartphone? Check Rapid Connect your computer’s internet browser before heading to the bus stop.

Environmental and economic reasons to ride The Rapid

– Public transportation can save the U.S. 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline every year, reducing dependence on oil.
– The Rapid saves the GVSU community over 2 million rides, 20 million vehicle miles and $11 million in vehicle operating costs.
– Park and Ride: GVSU students, faculty and staff can park in marked areas and ride the bus to campus for free. The Standale Meijer and the Walker Fire Station have parking designated for this purpose. However, it is best to avoid overnight parking, as the vehicle may be ticketed or towed. This can help save gas money, avoid purchasing a parking pass and reduce emissions.
– The Rapid has five hybrid-electric buses operating with green roofs to protect the environment by burning less fuel and emitting fewer pollutants into the air. The Rapid also uses ultra-low sulfur diesel, which emits 90 percent less pollutants than before.
– The buses feature a battery-powered electric motor that provides most of the power at slower speeds and a smaller clean diesel engine that takes over at higher speeds.

Rapid Statistics
– Fiscal Year 2014
– Total Riders: 2.9 million
– Route 50: 1.4 million
– Route 50 riders per day: 9,866 students (average) with 14 buses on the 24-mile loop
– Route 37: 525,435
– Route 48: 753,234
– Route 51: 222,085

Posted in News on

Mobility As A Force For Health, Wealth & Happiness

It’s easy to think of alternative transportation such as walking, biking, and public transit as just a means of getting around. And on a community-wide scale, these mobility options offer a more green, environmentally-friendly appeal. But when was the last time you considered mobility as a direct for a healthier, happier, and more financially prosperous life?

In this TED City 2.0 Salon talk, former parks commissioner for Bogota, Colombia makes a passionate case for reclamation of public spaces for the increased mobility of all people. Gil Penalosa paints the picture of cities around the world where walkers, cyclists, and public transportation – not drivers and highways – are at the heart of urban life.

How has mobility transformed your life?

Posted in Rider Stories on

New To Winter Bus Travel? 20 Tips From Fellow Riders

winter bus travel

Winter is one of the best times of year to switch up your commute and try using public transportation. Catching the bus instead of driving means avoiding scraping and deicing your car, driving on slick roads, and the general stress of winter travel. For those of you considering getting on board this winter, who better to learn the rules of the road from then tenured Rapid riders? We asked our Facebook fans to share their top winter bus travel advice. Spoiler alert: Dressing warm is a definite must. Find what other tips are necessary for safe, warm, and relaxing bus travel this winter:

1. “Use the bus don’t drive! The bus will not get stuck, saves time shoveling out in the morning and is warm when you jump on.” – Timothy Wolfer
2. “Have your fare ready before you get on the bus…if the roads are bad every second adds up. The driver wants to make line up just as badly as you do.” – Andrew Dykstra
3. “Be nice to your bus driver; especially if the weather’s bad. They have NO CONTROL over the onslaught of snow, unplowed or poorly plowed roads, other drivers, backed-up traffic, etc. And chances are good that they’re just as frustrated about the situation as YOU are. If you get stuck in stand-still traffic for up to two hours (it’s happened before), just remember that it’ll be a much more tolerable two hours for EVERYONE on the bus if you try to make nice with the driver and other passengers.” – Cory Anne Stickel
4. “Which reminds me: bring something to keep yourself occupied during the trip Just in case it takes a while. Books and MP3 players are always a good choice.” – Cory Anne Stickel
5. “Wear boots. It is well worth the hassle of changing shoes when you arrive at your destination.” – Matt Anderson
6. “Even though the sidewalks are not always plowed, DO NOT stand in the road – not even in the median of the side street. The “added convenience” is not worth the risk of getting slid into or run over by a car.” – Chris Koens
7. “Plan your trips carefully especially on the weekends. Always take the bus before the bus that you need. Worst case scenario you will be early for work.” – Maggie Hall
8. “Transfer at the station instead of waiting outside.” – Lee J. Lamberts
9. “Make sure to leave enough time for delays in travel.” – Alan Graham
10. “Dress warm,dress in layers and be prepared for the sidewalks and walkways not to be shoveled!” – Meagan E. Jansen
11. “Use the bus tracker app [myStop for iOS] to check for delays ahead of time and stay indoors as long as you can and find a coffee shop or restaurant near your stop if possible.” – Eduardo A’carrochio
12. “[Wear] long underwear. Even when it dips into the 20s I find short periods outdoors in regular attire to be reasonably comfortable. And long underwear really isn’t a heat problem when you are just sitting at a desk. It is the perfect layer.” – Adam Tauno Williams
13. “Prepare and expect delays.” – Terry Simmons
14. “Take it slow because the aisle is always wet.” Spencer Anthony
15. “Wear your boots…and don’t forget your mittens and a hat.” – Tom Adams
16. “Merino wool socks in addition to boots can be a lifesaver for your feet!” – Angi Zamarripa
17. “Stay back away from the curb while waiting for bus or when your going to get on the bus.” – Nanette Rolph
18. “Catch the bus prior to your normal scheduled one and LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS…” – Anthony Robinson
19. “Check the real-time schedule info for your bus before heading to the stop.” – John Collins Mitchell
20. “Wear boots, layers, gloves and a hat — have a comb and change of shoes either at work or in a bag you carry. actually i wear two coats!” – Dan Cooke

Enjoy safer winter bus travel this season with the help of your fellow rider’s advice.