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Public Hearings to be Held for Proposed Route 19 Realignment

We are proposing the realignment of Route 19 (currently serving Michigan and Fuller) to serve Seward and Bridge on the west of the route and Oak and Industrial Drive on the east of the route.

Reasoning for Proposed Realignment

The realignment of Route 19 is being proposed for a number of reasons:

–  Currently, Route 19 is the lowest performing route for The Rapid and has been since its implementation in 2012.

–  There has been high demand for new service to the Oak Industrial Drive area, particularly from the area employers who need transit service to attract and retain  employees.

–  There has been high demand for better transit connection to the Bridge and Seward are.

Current Route 19 Alignment

Route 19 map of current alignment.

Proposed Route 19 Alignment

Proposed realignment for Route 19

Background On Route19

In August 2012, we implemented Route 19 as a result from the successful millage in May 2012 promising 15-minute frequencies during peak times (6-9 AM & 4-6:30 M) on Michigan Street from downtown Grand Rapids east to Fuller Avenue. The remainder of the available routing served Fuller Avenue south to the Hall Street and Madison Avenue. Since implementation, Route 19 has been the lowest performing route in the system in terms of ridership and efficiency. Route 19 averages 112 trips a day.

Over the past year, adding service to the Oak Industrial Drive corridor was among one of the most frequent suggestions garned from public input. The current lack of bus service is a significant deterrent for potential employees who would use transit to commute to work. Recently, The Rapid staff met with businesses in the Oak Industrial Drive area along with The Right Place and City of Grand Rapids staff to discuss the businesses strong support of any efforts to expand service to this area.

Moreover, the western end of this realignment would cross the river and connect the Bridge Street and Seward Avenue intersection. Service and connection to Michigan Street from Bridge Street has been also been requested and supported by the West Side Corridor Improvement District.

What Lies Ahead

The proposed realigned Route 19 will continue to serve the promise of 15-minute peak frequencies on Michigan Street but remove service south of Fuller Avenue to Hall Street and Madison Avenue. It’s also recommended that the peak service time range be slightly shifted from the existing peak time range to capture a stronger demand (5:30-8:30AM & 3:30-5:00PM). While these riders south of Fuller will be negatively impacted by this realignment, alternative routes in walkable proximity are available, and our staff believes that the realignment will improve ridership and route efficiency.

Public Hearings

There will be two public hearings to gather feedback regarding the proposed Route 19 realignment. They will be held at Rapid Central Station, Conference Room – 2nd floor:

–  Wednesday, March 09, 2016, 7:30 a.m. — 8:30 a.m.

– Thursday, March 10, 2016, 6:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.   

The Rapid staff will be available for questions and/or comments. Written comments may be submitted for the record no later than Wednesday, March 10, 2016.  Please send comments to The Rapid Planning Department, 300 Ellsworth St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503, or via email to info@ridetherapid.org. 

Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.