GRAND RAPIDS — The Interurban Transit Board voted Wednesday to take two motions to public hearings to give the public the opportunity to address proposed changes, one that would create four new fare categories for bus passengers and the other to limit the transit system’s on-demand PASS service to passengers that are more than one-third mile from the nearest fixed bus route.
Upon recommendation of The Rapid staff, the board is considering adding four new fare options for the bus fixed route system: a $4 day pass; a $10 four-day pass; a discounted 31-day pass for senior and disabled passengers that would cost $22.75; and free transportation for Americans with Disabilities Act-eligible riders on all of The Rapid’s fixed routes.
The $4 day pass and $10 four-day pass are intended to serve people visiting the city to attend conferences and conventions. To accommodate the other two new fare categories, The Rapid would issue photo-IDs to senior, disabled and ADA-eligible passengers.
The Rapid’s PASS (Passenger Adaptive Suburban Service) service provides curb-to-curb transportation within the north, southwest and southeast regions of metro Grand Rapids. Trips must be scheduled 24 hours in advance and can be taken anywhere within the service area for a fare of $2.60. The PASS system was reviewed as part of The Rapid’s recent Comprehensive Operational Analysis, which revealed that only 6 percent of PASS trips have both an origin and destination that is more than one-third mile from a fixed route.
The proposed change would make PASS trips eligible only for passengers who are more than one-third mile from a fixed bus route, with the exception of disabled people who cannot travel the required distance to connect with a fixed route. The operational analysis indicated that The Rapid would likely see a 40 percent reduction in PASS trips and expense if those new eligibility standards were implemented, and that would result in an estimated savings of $280,340 a year.