Transit shelters like this one are planned for downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via duo-gard.com
Grand Rapids is rolling out all the stops for public transit users.
The Mobile GR and Parking Services Commission, along with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and The Rapid, are implementing a three-year plan to improve transit stops throughout the city and the urban core.
Duo-Gard, a designer and builder of transit amenities based in Canton, and Grand Rapids-based Conceptual Site Furnishings, the current manufacturer of benches for The Rapid, were both contracted for the $1.5-million improvement project.
The DDA recently approved funding of $500,000 for up to 50 shelters in the downtown core. Additionally, $250,000 from The Rapid and $750,000 from Mobile GR will offer funding for improvement of up to 70 more shelters outside of downtown.
Hank Kelley, Grand Rapids transportation planning and programs services director, said funding may also go toward stand-alone benches and accessibility improvements to landing areas and sidewalk connections near bus stops as needed. The cost of these items will be shared from the same pool funding the shelters
Kelley added the DDA and citywide shelters could possibly begin to be installed this spring, with additional citywide investments made over subsequent years. Mobile GR is looking for ways to expand the program beyond the initial three-year window.
The investment is consistent with the GR Forward plan, the prioritization of transit in the city’s Vital Streets plan and other guiding documents, according to a DDA memo dated Jan. 9.
The Grand Rapids City Commission approved the $1.5-million contract ceiling last month.
The shelters and maintenance responsibility will belong to the city via Mobile GR and Parking Services.