Published in Economic Development

The Rapid receives $15.8M in federal funding; plans Grandville HQ for paratransit service

BY Wednesday, April 13, 2022 01:06pm

Grand Rapids’ public transportation service will receive $15.8 million in federal funding meant to strengthen transportation in U.S. communities. 

The funds will be used to modernize and expand transportation fleets, address repairs, transition fleets to more climate-friendly technology and increase services for residents.

For The Rapid, this means refurbishing Rapid Central Station in downtown Grand Rapids, including repaving and new informational displays, said Bill Kirk, The Rapid’s director of external relations and government affairs.

The funds also will be used to purchase property in Grandville to build a headquarters for its paratransit service, Go!Bus, which serves seniors and people with disabilities. The land will serve as an operational base and a place to store and maintain Go!Bus vehicles, Kirk said.

The Rapid is in the process of purchasing the space for the Go!Bus headquarters and plans to begin operations there in October 2022, Kirk said. Improvements to the central station will take place in 2023.

Michigan received $20.7 million in federal transportation funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Biden signed into law last year. 

The remaining $4.9 million will go to the Kalamazoo Metro transit agency for similar upgrades, according to a funding announcement by U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow. 

“Any investments we make in our system, we’re always just trying to improve the service we put out on the road and make the experience better for our customer, as well supporting the regional goals around economic development and sustainability,” Kirk said.

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