MobileGR, 2018-04-12

DASH 3.0

Still slated for launch on August 27th.

This map illustrates what Downtown will look like when the DASH 3.0 is launched, including the enhanced RAPID#19 Michigan Crosstown as well as the LakerLine. Construction of the LakerLine begins later this year with service commencing in 2020. The combination of these route changes create a far more effective mesh of transit service for downtown.

This redesign represents a greater conformity with the GRForward plan while addressing service issues that have been experienced with the DASH West due to traffic congestion on the west side. The DASH West route has been shortened and simplified while the DASH North route now services as a true north-south connector. Under the current (2017) routing the DASH North and the DASH West do not intersect; under the new routing there are abundant transfer opportunities between the fare-less downtown services as well as the RAPID fixed-route services.

All stops will be accessible and provide pads; this is a notable improvement for stops in Monroe North where mud-puddle-stops are numerous.

The currently proposed schedule is . . . . drumroll . . .

Day Start End
Monday 6:30 am 10:30pm
Tuesday 6:30 am 10:30pm
Wednesday 6:30 am 10:30pm
Thursday 6:30 am 1:00am
Friday 6:30am 1:00am
Saturday 10:00am 1:00am
Sunday 10:00am 8:00pm

This increase in service costs an estimate $450,000/yr. The commission is currently seeking funding partners.

In addition to this vastly improved level of service the DASH stops will be co-located with RAPID fixed-route stops. No more mystery stops! Numerous stops will be updated to include shelters and real-time arrival information.

One potential gap in this new service is between the GVSU Pew campus and RAPID Central Station, a flow of riders that currently represents a significant share of DASH ridership.

No specific statements were made regarding the schedule for the enhanced RAPID#19 Michigan Crosstown, and it may be been implied that the roll-out of that service will no correspond with the August roll-out of the improved DASH service.

While the commission is naturally focused on categories of riders such as "commuter" and "visitor" the advantages of this transit density to residents cannot not be overlooked. Frequent weekend and evening service creates a far more useful network for those accessing medical facilities or performing errands - such as going to the grocery store. Easy availability of those resources to residents creates the opportunity for households to shed the high cost of auto-ownership; transitioning from multiple to single car households. Transportation is the second largest expense for the great majority of America households. It is this level of service that is necessary to end Motordom's ruthless exploitation of the American household.

Aside: Households in transit-oriented neighborhoods spend, on average, 15 percent of their income on transportation, compared to 28 percent in neighborhoods without public transit access.

West Michigan Express

The West Michigan Express is a proposal for a commuter service between Holland, MI and Grand Rapids, MI principally along the Grandville Ave corridor following the CSX right-of-way currently used by the Amtrak Pere Marquette. The study is, in part, derived from the Coast-to-Coast rail study which looks at the same corridor as part of an inter-city passenger connection between Holland, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Detroit.

Initial service may be operated as an express bus in order to test demand, with subsequent transition to a rail service.

Hopefully this proposal can reinvigorate the conversation about regional and inter-city transportation. It sounds as if other communities, particularly Hudsonville, are the leaders on this project.

This project is an ideal example of how regional and larger scale projects [WME + C2C] can build on one another as well as allow capital improvements - and their costs - can be shared and built out incrementally.


The commission moved forward the bike safety program in conjunction with the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle coalition. This program builds upon the accomplishment of previous years work - including the "Driving Change" program - utilizing the pool of certified bike safety trainers that now exists. Marketing will target downtown employers, possibly via their corporate wellness programs, as well as some neighborhoods. The eight hour training course will be broken up into several sessions offered on Tuesday evenings between May and September. Those completing the course will receive swag! The intention is to provide Spanish interpreters for the courses; there are currently no Spanish fluent certified trainers.

Commissioner Monoyious made a much appreciated point regarding the focus on safety training and information for pedestrians and cyclists; where are Motorists in that focus?

Movies In The Park

Movies In The Park is moving! To an undisclosed location, but one located on a DASH route. Let the speculation begin...

There will be six Movies In The Park dates in 2018. Those who utilize bike parking in the event can register for a prize drawing. If you utilize the RAPID to access the event prevent your pass and you will receive a two-ride pass for a free ride home and back to the next Movies In The Park event.

Mobility Summit

On May 3rd there will be a Mobility Summit at the Kroc Center which is locate on the SilverLine (RAPID#90).

Tickets and information are available @ Eventbrite.


Parking related projects were discussed at various points in the meeting.

  • The parking technology will be transitioned from "ParkMobile" to "Passport".
  • Parking will transition from a per-space to a license plate basis. License plate based parking allows for greater efficiency through the use of automatic license plate readers.
  • The metered parking area will grow by 980 spaces (+45%) with digital parking kiosks being deployed to all business districts.
  • The new Passport parking solution will provide for integration with the WAVE transit card for both parking and bike share!!! YES!

Madison Square

The commission moved forward on recommending to the city the purchase of 4 parcels in the Madison Square business district; these parcels will be used to create a 25 space parking lot adjacent to a public library, a grocery store, and the LINC facilty. The lot will include accessible spaces as well as bicycle parking. This lot also correlates to the amenity and transit improvements recommended under/by the ALIGN study/group. Construction is expected this summer/fall provided the city moves the project forward in a timely manner.

This lot has been facilitated by MobileGR's previous action to remove the "local match" requirement for neighborhood parking facilities. The removal of the match requirement provides the city with greater flexibility, allowing greater equity in parking investment. Under the "local match" rule neighborhoods and business districts which did not have significant resources were unable to move forward with these type of infrastructure improvements [which facilitate economic development].

Residential Parking Zones

There are two pending residential parking zone changes; and these will be the last changes under the current policy. The first change is the expansion of the existing permit parking program in NOBL. The second change is the creation of permitted parking zone within the West Grand neighborhood.