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8 Ways To Use Rapid Connect To Improve Your Commute

How do you stay connected to your bus route? Thanks to real-time information, keeping track of your bus is now easier than before. Our GPS-powered rider tools, known as Rapid Connect, have many options for making your ride on The Rapid more convenient. Here are a few ways to improve and even de-stress your commute:

1. Access Real-Time Information Regardless of Tech Abilities

If welcoming new technology with open arms isn’t exactly your style, you aren’t alone. But with Rapid Connect, tracking your bus in real time doesn’t have to involve a shiny new smartphone or app download. In fact, receiving precise real-time information is even as easy as dialing 616-776-1100 and choosing to the option for automated real-time information. We’ve made real-time Rapid bus information and much more available via your desktop computer, tablet, cell phone, and even your home phone.

TIP: “Play” with as many of the Rapid Connect tools as possible to discover which suits you best.Rapid Connect

2. Use A Smarter System Map

Go beyond the schedule book with the help of the Rapid Connect real-time passenger information system map. More interactive than a standard system map, this tool is great for seeing where The Rapid can take you and how to get there. The system map also acts as a housing mechanism for the many elements of Rapid Connect. From this point you can track buses, find routes and stops, receive real-time information, plan trips, check for detours, and even set route alerts.

TIP: Bookmark the Rapid Connect system map in your desktop and smartphone browser.

3. Track Your Bus

We know you’re busy and every minute counts, so why track your bus based on scheduled time when you can do it in real time? Whether you get you get your route information via the myStop iOS app or by calling the Rapid information line, staying connected to your bus can keep you at easy even on your least busy days. You can track your bus on the myStop iOS app by choosing your route and finding your bus or stop on the map or by simply using your GPS to pull the nearest stop location.

TIP: Even when tracking your bus in real time, it’s still best to plan for delays in poor weather conditions.

4. Find Stops Nearby

Even if you have never wandered around in the search of the nearest bus stop, you know the importance of staying connected to where your bus arrives and departs. Fortunately, the Nearest Stop tool located on our homepage and mobile website can help you discover stops near a location you’re planning to visit, or the location you’re currently at. Simply type in your address or use your GPS location to locate stops.

TIP: This tool doesn’t list all the stops nearby, just the ones in the closest vicinity.

5. Plan Your Trip

Even the most tenured riders can benefit from planning trips to destinations. Since our Rapid Connect Trip Planner is fueled by Google Maps, you now have even more options for planning the best trip for you. Transform your travel by choosing to walk less, transfer less, and compare how long the trip will be like at different times of the day with varied route options.Google map bar

TIP: We’re not sure what the technical term for the time-telling, travel-planning bar above the map is on Google Maps, but it’s incredibly useful for looking at all of your options.

6. Set An Alert

Never miss your bus again! Using Rapid Connect alerts, you can set a reminder for the stops you frequently use. Once you choose the proper location, you can choose how many times you would like to be notified prior to departure, as well as how. Once you set up a Rapid Connect account, you can choose to receive alerts via text message or email.

TIP: Alerts work great for your work commute both in the morning and evening.

7. Sign-Up For Public Service Messages

Stay connected to your route by receiving public service messages. These are notifications for everything from temporary detours and stops, to notices about holiday service. These messages are displayed on the Rapid Connect system map, but can also be sent directly to your text and/or email inbox upon signing up for an account.

TIP: Be sure to sign up for the routes that you ride.

8. Dabble With Apps

Even if you’re not an app expert, it’s worth trying out at least one of the apps offering Rapid information. Right now you can access Rapid bus information on myStop¬†for iOS, Transit App, and Moovit. These apps offer real-time information with a twist, as their interfaces are all quite different.

TIP: Spend time discovering all the capabilities of these apps to help you choose your favorite.

How has real-time information changed your commute?

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.