Rapid launches six-month rideshare program

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GO!Bus Plus aims to improve mobility options and enhance the independence of GO!Bus riders. Courtesy The Rapid

The Rapid is launching GO!Bus Plus, a six-month pilot program that will use a mobile app and web portal to offer pre-scheduled and on-demand rides.

GO!Bus Plus aims to improve mobility options and enhance the independence of GO!Bus riders. The program will utilize The Rapid’s ADA paratransit service to provide pre-scheduled rides to any GO!Bus eligible riders. In addition, GO!Bus Plus has partnered with Lyft, Uber and Hope Network’s GoLux to offer additional transportation options through the app, including on-demand rides.

“While facing the current pandemic situation, our ability to offer a variety of mobility options for our customers is even more critically important,” said Steve Schipper, interim chief operating officer at The Rapid. “We are grateful for this partnership so we can test new and innovative solutions. GO!Bus Plus is the latest in a series of pilots and programs informing how The Rapid can best serve our region in the future.”

The project also aligns with the city of Grand Rapids’ strategic plan, which calls for creating an accessible, multimodal transportation experience.

“We are excited to support and innovate with new service options, especially for individuals in our communities who have disabilities,” said Josh Naramore, Mobile GR and Parking Services director.

In 2018, the city and Ford Motor Company conducted a City:One Challenge to help identify new transportation solutions to make travel more accessible and convenient in Grand Rapids.

The GO!Bus Plus pilot program was developed from Kaizen Health’s award-winning Challenge submission and funded by the city of Grand Rapids. The startup proposal’s goal was to eliminate transportation as a barrier to medical appointments and other trips.

Other partners in the pilot include Kaizen Health and Disability Advocates of Kent County.

“This is the second project we have partnered on with The Rapid this year. We are very encouraged to see so many innovative transportation options coming to the Grand Rapids/Kent County area,” said Laura St. Louis, Disability Advocates community organizer and volunteer and intern coordinator.

How GO!Bus Plus works:

  • After creating an account and being approved, users can easily request rides through the GO!Bus Plus app or web portal.
  • The first 200 users to sign up and be approved for GO!Bus Plus will receive credits that can be redeemed for rides booked via the app.
  • Rides will be provided by The Rapid’s GO!Bus ADA paratransit service, Lyft, Uber, GoLux and others.
  • Rides also can be booked through Lyft, Uber and GoLux.

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