FTA To Approve BRT Project

December 20, 2007
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Rapid transit system just received another vote of confidence. The Federal Transit Administration is set to approve the Grand Rapids South Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project, a 9.8 mile dedicated bus line that would connect Cutlerville and southwestern Kentwood to downtown Grand Rapids.

According to Congressman Vern Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids, the FTA has determined that the project meets the criteria to advance into project development, which means it will be able to compete for federal funds. An official announcement from the FTA is expected this week.

The route would primarily use Division Avenue from 60th Street near Cutlerville to Wealthy Street in downtown Grand Rapids. From downtown, the route would continue north from Wealthy Street, running on various streets until it reaches Michigan Street where it turns west. From there, the route would turn south on Monroe Avenue to Grandville Avenue, terminating at The Rapid Central Station.

Project plans call for exclusive travel lanes for busses during peak hours, priority at traffic signals, 10 low-floor busses with multiple doors, 19 stations, more frequent service and off-board fare collection.

The Bus Rapid Transit concept combines the fixed-route benefits of light rail with the flexibility of lower cost bus service. The estimated cost of the project is $36.67 million. The Rapid is proposing an 80 percent federal share, or $29.33 million.

“Once complete, this project will dramatically improve mobility and transportation opportunities for resident along the corridor” Ehlers said. “It will also serve as a boon to the surrounding community by fostering economic growth and development. I will continue to do whatever I can to support this project.”   

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