The Rapid announces payment changes

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Courtesy The Rapid

Several fare payment changes will take place on The Rapid’s bus service Saturday.

Changes include:

  • The elimination of free transfers for riders paying cash fare.
  • The elimination of change cards for riders paying cash fare without exact change.
  • The elimination of the fare-free zone on the Silver Line in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • The elimination of fare-free service on Route 19 (Michigan Crosstown); this route currently is not in service.

The Rapid provided notice of these changes and began collecting public feedback in mid-June. Four public meetings were held at Rapid Central Station in early July.

Public comment was accepted via mail, email, phone and social media, and two Facebook Live Q&A sessions were held to receive rider feedback.

The cost to ride The Rapid is not changing, and cash fare will always be accepted as a form of payment. These changes mean cash-paying customers will no longer receive a change card if they board without exact change, and they will no longer have the option of a free transfer.

Wave card users can utilize unlimited transfers for one hour and 45 minutes after boarding. GO!Bus paratransit service is unaffected by these changes.

The Wave card, The Rapid’s e-fare payment system, is available for purchase and reload at Rapid Central Station, local Walgreens stores, Speedway stations and many other retail stores around The Rapid’s service area. A full list of Wave retail locations is available at wave.ridetherapid.org/retail-locations.

Purchase and use of the Wave card do not require a credit or debit card or internet access and offer multiple benefits to riders, including faster boarding, no upfront cost for daily, weekly or monthly passes, balance protection for lost or stolen cards that have been registered, and an automatic reload option.

The elimination of the fare-free zone on the Silver Line in downtown Grand Rapids means riders will have to pay a valid fare to ride the Silver Line on the entire route. Riders were previously allowed to ride the Silver Line north of Wealthy Street for free.

The elimination of fare-free service on Route 19 means riders will have to pay a regular fare on Route 19 if and when it returns to service. Riders were previously allowed to ride Route 19 for free.

The Rapid’s COVID-19 safety precautions remain in place on all buses, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices and a requirement that all riders wear a mask while waiting for or utilizing The Rapid’s services.

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