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If you dream it, plan it, and fund it, you can ride it!!

Exciting new service on The Rapid and The Ride!

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Today is a big day for transit, Supporter. Michigan’s first rapid transit has launched! 

The Grand Rapids Silver Line began operations this morning.

The Silver Line is Michigan’s first bus rapid transit service. It connects Grand Rapids' medical center and busy Division Street with several southern suburbs.

The Silver Line will get riders to their destinations 40 percent faster than the current route, thanks to features that include:

  • Dedicated lanes for buses-only during busiest times
  • Tickets purchased and validated at the station, not as people board
  • Multiple doors onto the bus, all level with the station, for faster entry and exit
  • Wi-fi on all buses
  • Signs at each station announcing how soon the next bus will arrive

These are the same types of features proposed for new rapid transit along the full length of Woodward Avenue and that will soon be studied for Gratiot and Michigan Ave as well.

Silver Line construction was completed on time and 10% under budget!

Funded through federal and state grants and part of The Rapids voter-approved millage, this exciting new service clearly shows that if you dream it, plan it, and fund it, you can ride it!!

Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority expanded service as well.

On May 6, voters in the cities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township approved an additional millage to phase in an increase in service of 44 percent. The first new service provided by this funding started yesterday, including: 

  • Later service on 19 routes;
  • A new route (#46) connecting downtown Ypsilanti with Ford Lake and the Ypsilanti District Library;
  • More frequent service on several routes; and
  • Expanded hours and service area for ARide service for seniors and people with a disability.

Even more expansions of service will be rolled out over the coming year (as new buses arrive and new employees are hired and trained). Another example that if you dream it, plan it, and fund it, you can ride it!!

Note - A community-led celebration at the Ladies Library Club in Ypsilanti will be hosted by Partners for Transit to celebrate the new services – today (8/25) from 5 – 7:30 pm - all are welcome to attend.

SMART launches new website and bus tracker

We’ve got exciting stuff happening locally too. SMART launched a new website designed to be easier to navigate, especially on smartphones and tablets. The one-click, colorful icons take you to the most popular pages - Schedules and Fares and Passes. New and improved features include: 

  • A real-time Bus Tracker! It tells you when buses will arrive at your stop. Check out the Bus Tracker Tool Overview page for information on how to use Bus Tracker.
  • Nearest Stops feature - allowing you to see all the bus routes closest to you
  • An improved MySMART service (which past users will need to sign up again for) which providers personal emails when changes impact your routes

Check out all these new features and tell SMART what you think.

Welcome Michael Ford, soon-to-be RTA CEO

Last but certainly not least, we officially and enthusiastically welcome Michael Ford to the RTA! He has signed a contract approved by the RTA Board and will begin as its first CEO in October, following 60 days wrapping up his role as CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority.

As he prepares to start at the RTA, he will need to select an office location, hire a few staff to help him, and other essential start up activities. Stay tuned for more on his plans for improving transit and ways to help him dream it, plan it and fund it, so we can ride it!


PS - You are subscribed to Transportation Riders United's email list. TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, working since 1999 to improve bus service, remove barriers to rapid transit, and advocate for smart transportation investments

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