Grand Rapids sees renaissance of public transit

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The Laker Line provides express bus service with features such as traffic signal priority, level boarding for wheelchairs or mobility devices, fare payment prior to boarding, real-time arrival displays and limited stops at enhanced stations. Photo by Ehren Wynder

Grand Rapids experienced one of the highest resurgences in public transit use, according to a recent study.

A study from car insurance quote comparison site Insurify found Grand Rapids had the seventh-highest resurgence in public transit use, following the nationwide lockdown earlier this year.

Between March and August, Grand Rapids’ volume of public transportation usage increased by 158%. Across the 93 cities analyzed in the study, transit use increased by 83%, on average, in the same timeframe.

Additionally, between March and August there were 2,560 public transit commuters in Grand Rapids, and the city spent $7.59 million on transit. The average number of commuters who use public transit across all recorded U.S. metropolitan areas was 8,041.86 passengers per metro area.

From the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent report on infrastructure spending, U.S. federal, state and local governments spent a total of $441 billion on transportation in 2017.

Lansing saw the highest increase in public transit use at 272%. The city spent almost $51 million on transportation-related expenses and saw 5,777 riders.

Cities with the greatest resurgence in transit use

  1. Lansing – 272%
  2. Hartford, Connecticut – 262%
  3. New York City – 261%
  4. Annapolis, Maryland – 197%
  5. (tie) Boston, Massachusetts – 164%/New Haven, Connecticut – 164%
  6. Grand Rapids – 158%
  7. Colorado Springs, Colorado – 153%
  8. Toledo, Ohio – 139%
  9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 136%

Methodology

The data science and research team at Insurify identified which cities have returned to public transportation at the quickest rates based on public transit data across 93 U.S. cities. 

Mobility data was provided by Apple Maps, which compares the daily volume of directions requests per city to a baseline volume on Jan. 13, 2020. Data sent from users’ devices to Apple Maps services is anonymous.

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