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Let The Rapid be your Ride to the Grand Rapids Coffee Crawl

Grand Rapids Coffee Crawl

Sip. Snack. Meet. Repeat. Are you ready for the first Grand Rapids Coffee Crawl?

On April 7-8, travel to coffee shops throughout Grand Rapids to try different blends of coffee, tea or an alternative beverage. GRNow is hosting the first–and let’s be honest, long overdue–coffee crawl in Grand Rapids. What’s even better about this event is that proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Heartside Gleaning Initiative. Coffee lovers, this is your excuse to give back and taste all that Grand Rapids has to offer! you’re there you can also snack on chocolate covered espresso beans, baked goods and other treats to fuel you in your travels.

While you’re visiting coffee shop locations, you can also snack on chocolate covered espresso beans, baked goods and other treats to fuel you in your travels. There will also be educational sessions, art and live entertainment to enjoy along the way. And if you begin to tire of coffee along the way, participating locations will also be featuring tea, hot chocolate and other non-coffee beverages to enjoy.

Here’s what your Grand Rapids Coffee Crawl ticket gets you:

–  One 4 oz. sample of coffee, tea, or alternative beverages at all participating coffee shop locations. Offerings vary depending on each location.
–  An electronic map (for your phone) of all participating shops.
–  Educational sessions, art and live entertainment taking place at shops.
–  Free bus rides on The Rapid with proof of ticket.

Participating coffee shops include both MadCap locations, both Ferris Coffee + Nut locations, Jam’n Bean Coffee Company, Lantern Coffee bar & Lounge, Mayan Buzz Cafe, Lightfast Coffee Bar + Art Collective, The Bitter End Coffeehouse, Squibb Coffee Bar, Roots Brew Shop, The Sparrows and Rowster Coffee.

Worried about drinking all of that coffee? Don’t be! The sample sizes provided on this crawl are fairly small and your intake is completely up to you. Rotate out your coffee sample for a tea or hot chocolate. You’re also not required to stop at each location, so don’t worry if you can’t visit them all.

Purchase your tickets here.

Ride The Rapid to explore Grand Rapids and get to Grand Rapids Coffee Crawl locations. Shops are located throughout our system. Routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 + can get you there.

 

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Happy Retirement to Rapid Bus Operator Fred C.

Fred C.

Recently, we wished our very own Fred C. a very happy retirement! He was a bus operator for 22.5 years. Please join us in thanking Fred for all of his hard work and dedication throughout the years.

We’ll miss you!

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Ride The Rapid to these April 2017 Events

Art Downtown

The arrival of April means spring has officially sprung. With more hours of daylight and warmer weather making an apperance on the weekly forecasts, this is the perfect time to get out and enjoy all that Greater Grand Rapids has to offer.

This month, we’ve got events for coffee lovers, children during spring break, art collectors and so much more!Grab your calendar and save these dates:

Grand Rapids Coffee Crawl

Calling all coffee lovers! This is the crawl for you. From April 7 to 8, explore local coffee shops and try different blends of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, all while benefiting the Heartside Gleaning Initiative. General tickets for this event are $15 and just $12 for students. All of the coffee shops are located within our bus service area, so just show your ticket to your bus operator and you can ride The Rapid at no cost! Get your ticket here.

Routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 + can get you there.

Tuesdays on the Town

Stroll downtown’s historic shopping districts until 8 p.m every Tuesday. Get there via one of our fixed routes, the Silver Line (free within downtown Grand Rapids) or the free DASH buses!  Start your evening with dinner and then enjoy some late night shopping entertainment. Explore all the local boutique shops, sports apparel, kitchen gifts, clothing, specialty foods, and unique gifts, salon/spa services. Various shops will have specials and other features like trunk shows, refreshments, demos, and music.

Routes 1, 2, 3,4, 5+ can get you there.

Spring Break at the Public Museum

Do something special during Spring Break! The week of April 3 – 8 is Spring Break for many in the area. Enjoy a day at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a special visit to Whales Giants of the Deep and additional hands-on activities including watercolor printmaking, making origami whales and big games. Activities take place 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Saturday of Spring Break and from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Learn more about admission here.

Route 7, 9, 12, 50 can get you there. 

DisArt Symposium

The 2017 DisArt Symposium: Disability Arts takes place from April 6 – 8 This is an international symposium designed to bring together academics, critics, artists, community organizers, designers, and arts organization professionals to consider the current state of disability arts and the current state of access making for cities around the world. Events include keynote presenters, a silent film screening, theater, dance, as well as an accessible event planning seminar. You can purchase your tickets here

Routes 1, 4, 14, 15 and the Silver Line can get you there.

Amazing Dinos

Plan a trip with your children and ride with us to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum to dig up fossils, examine dinosaur habitats, and even come face to face with your favorite dinos! The Amazing Dinosaurs exhibit is now open through June 25. You don’t want to miss this fun, interactive exhibit that’s sure to please dinosaur lovers of all ages. Museum admission is just $8.50 for ages 1-64 and free for children under one. EBT card holders can get in for just $1.75. 
Routes 1, 4, 6, 14, 15 and the Silver Line can get you there.

Art.Downtown 2017

On Saturday, April 8, from 12-9 p.m., art is taking over downtown. Expanding from the Avenue for the Arts corridor in the Heartside Neighborhood to Kendall College of Art and Design and Devos Place in central downtown, this one-night event features several hundred artists in dozens of galleries, businesses, and studio spaces around downtown Grand Rapids. This is a rain-or-shine, no-cost event! 

Routes 1, 2, 3, 4 + can get you there. 

Grandville Art & Chocolate Walk

More than 20 different venues in downtown Grandville will feature artwork on Friday, April 21. There will also be a live statue performance, musical performances and interactive art exhibits. Visitors can also enjoy chocolate and beverage tasting stations with $3 “Sips & Bits” cards available for purchase at the event or for pre-purchase at Grandville City Hall. 

Route 8, 24, 28 can get you there. 

Early Childhood Resource Fair

Play, learn and explore! This free event takes place at Kent Career Techincal Center on Saturday, April 29. Bring your children to take part in fun activities, as well as access to many valuable programs, resources and organizations. There will be onsite signup for free preschool, free vision and hearing screenings for toddlers and a range of early childhood information.

 Route 15 can get you there.

Enjoy April!

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New Study: Who’s Riding Public Transit?

Public transit bus riders at Rapid Central Station

Work. Shopping. School. Recreation. Across the nation, these are the top reasons people board public transit every day.

Public transit riders are part of the engine that powers America’s economy, according to a new demographic study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The study Who Rides Public Transportation reveals that 87 percent of public transit trips directly impact the economy, either connecting people to employers needing workers and to retail and entertainment venues.  The study, authored by the CJI Research Corporation, is the most extensive demographic report of public transit riders ever, with nearly 700,000 passenger surveys.

“The data is clear: Public transit riders’ impact on the economy has grown tremendously over the last 10 years,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard White. “In addition to the work commute, Americans are taking transit to shop, dine, and attend entertainment venues more than ever before.  As the new Congress and Administration look to boost the economy, investing in America’s public transportation infrastructure should be a key element of that plan.”

One example of this economic impact, according to the data, is that the share of riders using public transit for shopping more than doubled from 2007 (8.5 percent) to 2017 (21 percent).  APTA officials note that there is a long-term trend of public transit riders having a greater impact on the economy while helping to sustain growth in local communities.

In fact, since 1995, ridership has increased by 37 percent– a growth rate higher than the 20percent  increase in the U.S. population and higher than the 23 percent growth in the use of the nation’s highways over the same period, according to APTA ridership data.

“These public transit trips impact communities of all sizes and a very diverse group of Americans ride public transit every day,” said White. “The facts speak for themselves. Investing in public transit is the obvious choice to help grow the economy.”

The Facts

Sixty-three percent of public transit riders use it at least five days a week, and 13 percent use it six or seven days a week. This is further evidence that commuting is the primary trip purpose for many users, but many also use public transit for shopping, dining and other activities that grow the economy.

Other important demographics highlighted in the study include:

  • –  Most riders are people in the most economically active years of their lives, from 20 to 64 years of age, according to the study. This accounts for 89% of transit passengers.
  • –  Of all riders, 71% are employed, while 7% are students. Thus, more than three-fourths of transit riders (78%) are either currently employed or preparing for employment.
  • –  Most transit user households (77%) include one or more working persons.
  • –  More than 51% of riders hold a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.
  • –  In fact, 21% of U.S. households that make at least $100,000 per year ride public transportation.
  • –  Public transit is a lifeline for many Americans. Thirteen percent of U.S. households have incomes of less than $15,000, but among transit-using households, the comparable figure is 21%.
  • –  The majority of public transit users are women (55%). This is true for both bus and rail users.
  • –  Transit users are multi-modal. Sixty-five percent have a driver’s license.
  • –  Twenty-one percent use public transit for shopping and 17% for recreational spending in the local economy.
  • –  For smaller communities under 200,000, more riders (27%) use it for travel to school than in larger communities over 1 million (6%).

The Who Rides Public Transportation study is based on a total of 695,748 respondent questionnaires.  The surveys included were conducted during eight years from 2008 through 2015.  The public transit systems participating in the research carried 80% of the transit trips made in the U.S. during the study period.  To read the study in its entirety go to www.apta.com/WhoRides.

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The Rapid + The WGVU Morning Show: Free Ride Fridays to Griffins Hockey Games

Griff on The Rapid bus

Each month we join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk transit. On March 20, Jennifer Kalczuk, The Rapid’s External Relations Manager, joined Irwin with Steve Ritsema of the Grand Rapids Griffins to talk about hockey, free bus rides and some other details about our partnership with Grand Rapid’s local hockey team.

Did you know you can ride The Rapid to and from Grand Rapids Griffins Friday home games for free? It’s as easy as showing your game ticket to the bus operator while you’re boarding the bus. It’s a great way to save money and avoid the hassle of parking, as well as being a safety choice if you’re enjoying a beer or two at the game. Griffin’s Friday home game also feature a $2 hot dog and $2 beer special that’s a great wallet-friendly option for getting the most out of game day.

Another fun promotion to keep an eye on is the weekly Griffin’s ticket giveaway! This one is especially good for the avid SnapChat user. Add griffinshockey on SnapChat and every Friday you’ll have a chance to find a 4-pack of tickets that will be placed at a Rapid bus stop. Watch the Griffin’s SnapChat Story to figure out the stop they’re located at and be the first get the tickets.

Griffins SnapChat

Check the Grand Rapids Griffins game schedule here. There are still a few Friday home games left this season.  You can plan your trip to Van Andel Arena by visiting ridetherapid.org and using our RapidConnect Trip Planning tools, as well as simply planning your trip on Google Maps (just choose the transit icon).

 

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Let The Rapid be your Ride to St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick's Day

If you’re hoping to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Grand Rapids, you’re in luck. There’s no shortage of wonderful events to enjoy with your friends and family. From parades to live music, all you’ll need is your green attire, a few shamrocks and a bus pass to observe this holiday.

Riding The Rapid to get to your St. Patrick’s Day destinations means you can enjoy that extra mug of green beer or just save yourself the worry of finding a parking spot. Travel responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day by letting us be your designated driver. And if you’re out later than we are, don’t forget that there’s always Uber and Lyft to get you home safely.

Here are a few ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:

Laugh like the Irish

Gilda’s LaughFest Presents: The Irish Comedy Tour
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Laughfest! The Irish Comedy Tour takes the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub and combines it with a boisterous, belly-laugh band of hooligans. This event takes place on Thursday, March 16 at 20 Monroe Live. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this 18+ comedy event. Get your tickets now!

Routes 1, 4, 9, 11-15 and the Silver Line

Listen to Irish music

St. Patrick’s Day at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
Come celebrate a night of green things with live music from British Racing Green, Stellar and RUKUS. Tip Top will also be featuring beer specials from Big Lake Brewing.
Route 18

St. Patrick’s Day at Flanagan’s Pub
From March 16 – 19, stop by Flanagan’s to enjoy local musicians carrying on the centuries-deep Irish heritage of celebrating life and culture with a pint and a fiddle.
Routes 6, 9, 11, 13 and the Silver Line

St. Patrick’s Day at Quinn & Tuite’s Irish Pub
Starting at 7 a.m., Quinn and Tuite’s is opening their doors up for a traditional Irish buffet, Guinness and a day of live music from Conklin Ceili Band, Branden Loughrey from Donegal, Ireland and Colin Tobin.
Route 11

St. Patrick’s Day at One Trick Pony

Dig into traditional Irish pub fare and enjoy live music from The Willeys, a Michigan band with a Celtic twist, on March 17 from 6-11 p.m.
Routes 1, 4, 14, 15 and the Silver Line

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with the Grand Rapids Symphony

Enjoy the music if the Emerald Isle from March 17-19 at DeVos Performance Hall. Cathie Ryan will be singing Celtic classics we know you’ll love.
Routes SL, 11, 13, 50

Enjoy Irish cuisine

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at 6th Street Hall
Dig into corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and soda bread while you celebrate your Irish side!  Just $9 a plate to eat-in or take-out from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m on March 17.
Routes 9 & 18

St. Patrick’s Day at The B.O.B.

Ride with us to The B.O.B. on Monroe for a day full of festivities on March 17. Starting at 2:00 p.m. there will be the Peanut Butter Porter bottle release, a selection of several craft beers and a great line-up of live music! There’s no cover charge for this event.
Route 1,4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Celebrate in the street

Irish on Ionia
Michigan’s largest St. Patrick’s Day street party is back for another year of fun. This all day event begins bright and early at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 118. Taking place on Ionia St., the street party will stretch from Oakes to Fulton and Weston to Commerce ending at 10: 00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15-60. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets in advance!
Route 1, 4, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15

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Have You Thanked Your Bus Operator Lately?

tdad-2017

One day. Two words. So many reasons.

The Rapid’s Bus Operators keep our community moving. They maneuver through traffic and weather conditions of all kinds to get you safely to work, school, appointments, and everything in between. And on top of ensuring the safe and timely arrival of passengers to destinations, they also must check fares, give directions, and ensure that the needs of passengers are met accordingly. Let’s be honest, bus operators make multitasking look second nature. And most do it all with a smile.

Transit Driver Appreciation Day typically takes place on March 18, but this year we’re joining the national movement and celebrating our hard-working bus operators on Friday, March 17. Remember, bus operators don’t have an easy job. They just make it look that way. Please consider going out of your way to show your appreciation for them on Transit Driver Appreciation Day.

Here are some ways you can say thank you:

Print and Sign a Transit Driver Appreciation Day Card

While simply saying thank you can brighten anyone’s day, you might consider doing something extra special for your Rapid bus driver. If you’re looking for something more personal, considering signing and printing the Transit Driver Appreciation Day cards available online to pass out to your favorite bus driver or drivers.

Transit Driver Appreciation Day cards will also be available to pick up at Rapid Central Station’s Information Center beginning on Thursday, March 15.

Leave A Compliment

You can also share positive feedback about your favorite operator with The Rapid’s Transportation Department via our online contact form. There’s also the option to post directly to our Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget to (This is something you can do any time of year!)

For those curious about the history behind March 18, this is the day when the world’s first urban bus system made its debut in Paris in 1662. In the centuries since public transit operators have kept the world moving. They’ve helped us through everything from day-to-day traffic to serious economic recessions—needless to say, the job isn’t always easy.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to make a Rapid Bus Operator’s day a little brighter by showing them your appreciation.

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Thrifty Thursday: Ride The Rapid to Flanagan’s Irish Pub

Flanagan's Irish Pub

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably craving some Irish pub grub and a good beer. We’ve got the place for you!

Flanagan’s Irish Pub, located in downtown Grand Rapids at 139 Pearl Street NW, is a staple local mainstay. Recently taken over by new owners, Flanagan’s received an interior makeover, as well as a refreshed menu and drink offerings. As a traditional Irish bar, Flanagan’s has Guinness on tap at all times, as well as many other local brews.

As a traditional Irish bar, Flanagan’s has Guinness on tap at all times, as well as many other local brews. Their menu boasts Irish-themed twists on bar bites like cheese bread and wings for those coming in for something lighter. If you’re looking for a full pub-style meal, don’t miss the Reuben, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, or the fish and chips. They even serve Irish Soda Bread. Yum!

FOX 17 Thrifty Thursday Deal

If you’re looking for a perfect pre-St. Patrick’s Day night out (or any Thursday), Flanagan’s offers a Thirsty Thursday deal where you can get $5 margaritas, Moscow Mules and “pick your own beer” flights. Irish whiskeys like Jameson are only $4. If you’re hungry, there’s also discounted appetizers.

Ride Routes 6, 9, 11 13, Silver Line and DASH to get there!

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12 Transit-Friendly Bars to Visit during March Madness

march-madness-2017

It’s time to get your March Madness brackets completed and round up your friends for some game-watching fun. The first day of the Men’s NCAA basketball tournament tips off on Tuesday, March 14!

Who can resist the friendly chaos of family and office pools, fandom, watching underdog teams rise to the top and the non-stop action of dozens of college basketball games? For those of us not lucky enough to score a seat at the tournament, there’s always the option of gathering your friends and heading to your local sport’s bar for good food and a drink, while supporting your teams! Even better, why not gather at a bar or restaurant that’s locally owned and operated? 

Let us be your designated driver during March Madness. Purchase a 10-Ride Card and we’ll do the driving to and from your favorite sports bar. Here’s our list of locally-owned, transit-friendly sports bars worth visiting:

Grand Rapids

Peppino’s Sports Grille
130 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI, 49503

Route 1, 2, 3, 6, 13

Farah’s
710 Michigan St NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Route 6, 13, 15

East Grand Rapids

Big Bob’s Pizza
661 Croswell Ave., East Grand Rapids, MI, 49506
Route 6

Derby Station
2237 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Route 6

Wyoming

Monelli’s Italian Grill & Sports Bar
5675 Byron Center Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
Route 16

Frankie V’s Pizzeria
1420 28th St SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
Route 8, 16, 28

Grandville

Chicago Drive Pub & Grill
4050 Chicago Drive SW, Grandville MI 49418
Route 8, 24, 28

Osgood Brewing
4051 Chicago Drive SW, Grandville, MI 49418
Rout 8, 24, 28

Kentwood

616 Sports Bar & Grill
4514 Breton Rd SE, Kentwood, MI 49508
Route 2, 44

Uccello’s Ristorante
2630 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Route 5, 6, 17, 24, 28, 44

OK, while technically not in Kentwood, it’s a local option very nearby.

Walker

Walker Roadhouse
3272 Remembrance Rd NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Route 7

Lake Michigan Sports Bar
4072 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Route 7, 12 & 50

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January 2017 Bus Operator of the Month: Cindy. C

Cindy C. 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bus Operator of January 2017: Cindy C.

How long have you worked at The Rapid?

I have worked for the Rapid since 2012.

What do you like best about your job as a bus operator at The Rapid?

Every day is different! I work with some of the most amazing co- workers and supervisors!

What are you passionate about?

My passions are my grandchildren James, Sophia, Addison and Scarlett. They truly make my heart happy❤️. Kev Owens is also my peace and happiness.

Congratulations, Cindy! Thank you for all you do.