What are the target goals?

As with many transit projects, three primary goals include reducing congestion, promoting economic development along the corridor, and improving mobility options for the Grand Rapids metropolitan region.

Who are the partners?

The Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid)-in addition to the City of Grand Rapids, the system also serves the cities of East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, and Wyoming;  Federal Transit Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)  

How are the efforts financed?

The construction of the project was projected to cost approximately $40 million. $31.8 million of that was funded through a 2012 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Very Small Starts grant. $7.9 million of the project’s construction costs were funded by state transportation dollars, and approximately $700,000 came from a May 2011 millage. This property tax asked voters in Grand Rapids and five surrounding cities to increase The Rapid’s five-year, 1.12 mill tax levy by 0.35 million to a total of 1.47 million over seven years. While some of these funds were used for The Silver Line’s capital expenses, the majority was dedicated to operations costs. Upon completion, the project was $3 million under budget.  

Other Details This is the first bus rapid transit in the state of Michigan, and The Rapid used Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s Euclid Avenue HealthLine as a model.  

When was the program launched?

In 2003, Grand Rapids’ public transit system, The Rapid, conducted a study transit study to assess transit possibilities for specific corridors and also for the region as a whole. The agency considered several different modes as possibilities, including BRT, light rail and streetcars. After completing an alternatives analysis in 2007, The Rapid selected BRT as the preferred mode (locally preferred alternative) and included a project in the region’s long-range transportation plan. Shortly after that, the project was approved by the FTA for a Very Small Starts (capital funding) grant. The system was branded as the Silver Line, and in 2011, the city was successful in passing a millage to pay in part for its operation. In April 2013, The Rapid broke ground on the construction of the system, and it was debuted on August 25, 2014. The first week of rides on the new line were offered to riders for free. 


 https://www.ridetherapid.org/silver-line · http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/08/striking_gold_with_silver_line.html ·        http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/10/for_grand_rapids_a_40m_bus_rap.html ·     http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/10/feds_green_light_32m_for_bus_r.html

 NLC Staff Contact Information:  Nicole DuPuis, City Solutions and Applied Research, NDuPuis@nlc.org,  1-202-626-3050

(Last Modified: October 2014)