On Monday, August 24, 2020, The Rapid celebrated the launch of the Laker Line, Michigan’s second bus rapid transit (BRT) system, with a ceremony at Pew Station.
The Laker Line (https://www.ridetherapid.org/howtoride/laker-line) began service between Grand Valley State University Allendale and downtown Grand Rapids campuses on August 24, 2020. The launch of this new BRT route was marked with a gathering at the Laker Line Pew Station with 80 attendees. Speakers included U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, Michigan Department of Transportation Administrator Jean Ruestman, Mayor of Kentwood and Board Chair at The Rapid Stephen Kepley, and GVSU Vice President of Administration and Finance Greg Sanial.
The Laker Line is a 13-mile BRT route offering a more efficient and comfortable travel experience to those making the trip along the Laker Michigan Drive corridor. This corridor was previously served by Route 50, which saw a 770 percent growth in ridership in a 15-year period. The new Laker Line features 16 articulated buses, Wi-Fi access, USB charging ports at each seat, and 14 enhanced stations.
The launch of the Laker Line also marks the 20th anniversary of the formalized partnership between Grand Valley and The Rapid.
You do not have to be a Laker to ride like one. Anyone can ride the Laker Line! GVSU students, faculty, and staff ride for free, and just need to have their university ID on-hand. If you are not affiliated with GVSU, all you need is valid fare. For faster boarding, each Laker Line station is equipped with a ticket vending machine (TVM) for purchasing and reloading your Wave card.
The Laker offers a better experience, even before you board. The robust covered stations are fully appointed with real-time arrival info, emergency phones, bike racks, security cameras, and even snowmelt for those wintery days. Once the bus arrives, level platforms and precise bus docking creates boarding that’s faster and safer. Just pick door number 1, 2, or 3 and walk aboard.