Dashing Through North Monroe

June 21, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — The city is seriously looking at adding the North Monroe business district to its DASH Shuttle Service.

Parking Services Director Ted Perez told parking commissioners that he was impressed with the interest coming from the business association for the city-operated, park-and-ride program, and said he favored a six-month trial run for the service in the rapidly growing district.

“That group has a lot of energy,” Perez said of the Monroe North Business Association. “I think there is a lot of good potential here.”

Perez said his department would dedicate a shuttle to exclusively serve the district. Starting from the DASH West parking lot on Winter just south of Bridge, the 25-passenger bus would go east on Bridge, north on Monroe, east on Mason, south on Ottawa and then return to the lot. The shuttle would run every 10 minutes on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., and make seven stops along the route.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Mayor John Logie.

The mayor suggested that consideration be given to expanding the route to include the Boardwalk, the former Berkey & Gay furniture factory at 1140 Monroe Ave. that was turned into the city’s newest office and apartment building. Adding the Boardwalk would take the shuttle to Coldbrook, instead of Mason, for its southerly swing onto Ottawa.

“I think we have to be open to that,” said Perez.

The shuttle’s trial run would cost Parking Services $31 an hour, or $41,000 over the six months. Parkers would pay $20 a month for the service, which would include after-hours pick-up for those who work past 6 p.m.

The Neighborhood Business Specialist Program is helping the business association survey its members to determine a demand for the DASH service. If the demand is strong enough, the service could start this winter.

Currently DASH covers the core downtown area from parking lots south of the Van Andel Arena and west of the Grand River.

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