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Future Planning

A look into subsequent plans for public transportation endeavors and improvements in the Grand Rapids metro area.

Short-Range Plan: 2016 - 2020

In 2010, The Rapid adopted the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) that serves as the guiding document for the agency to the 2030 planning horizon. Many of the priorities identified in the TMP have already been implemented through the passage of the May 2011 millage, subsequent service improvements in FY 2012-2013, and the implementation of the Silver Line in August 2014. Nevertheless, there remains a list of priorities in the TMP that have not been implemented. Based on the remaining priorities established in the TMP and subsequent public and Board input, The Rapid Short Range Plan serves as the agency’s guiding document for services and capital projects through the 2016-2020 planning horizon.  The highlights of the Short Range Plan include the fact that all Rapid revenues and services will remain stable, the Laker Line is anticipated to be completed in the Spring of 2019, and all capital project priorities through 2020 will be fully funded.

The Rapid's Short Range Plan: 2016-2020 (/var/www/html/ - File does not exist!, PDF)

Long-Range Plan

Our long-range plan—or Transit Master Plan (TMP)—is a comprehensive, 20-year plan that will guide future development of The Rapid’s current service area of East Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, and Wyoming.

In June 2010, The Rapid's Board of Directors unanimously adopted a new TMP dubbed "The People's Plan" because the development and approval was so heavily guided by public input. The TMP is the culmination of months of work by the Mobile Metro 2030 Task Force, community and business leaders, senior citizens, students, riders, and non-riders working together to establish a vision for transit services.

The plan’s suggested  improvements to make The Rapid  more convenient, efficient, and attractive to commuters also includes new types of transit services: the first lines of a modern streetcar system and a regional express bus program. GO!Bus would also see improvements that mirror fixed-route enhancements.

The plan will also illustrate how The Rapid stacks up against comparable systems and help identify ways we can enhance our services, attract and retain riders, increase efficiencies, and lower costs based on peer best practices.

Peer Review

As part of the Transit Master Plan development, a rigorous peer review was conducted of 10 transit systems: Louisville, KY; Ann Arbor, Flint, and Lansing, MI; Akron, Dayton, and Toledo, OH; Rochester, NY; Nashville, TN; and Madison, WI.

The analysis compares The Rapid’s fixed-route bus and paratransit (GO!Bus) services to systems similar in size and regional demographic characteristics. Criteria used to select the peers include urban area population and physical size, annual vehicle revenue hours, and annual unlinked passenger trips.

In key findings, The Rapid is among the most cost-effective and cost-efficient systems evaluated. The Rapid’s bus system is 23%  and 18%  less expensive to operate per bus-hour and bus-mile, respectively, than the peer average.

Download the full report  for more information.