State Match Sought For BRT
GRAND RAPIDS — Plans for a bus rapid transit system shifted into a higher gear on Dec. 19 when the Federal Transit Administration approved a $29.33 million grant for the project under the federal New Starts program. The question now is whether the state will be able to come up with a 20 percent match of $7.34 million to cover the remainder of the estimated $36.67 million total cost of the project.
The Grand Rapids South Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project is a 9.8 mile dedicated bus line that would connect Cutlerville and southwestern Kentwood to downtown Grand Rapids.
The bus rapid transit concept combines the fixed-route benefits of light rail with the flexibility of lower cost bus service.
The Rapid is requesting approximately $1.4 million in federal funds in fiscal 2009 for preliminary design, engineering and environmental work for the development of the bus rapid transit project. The state match would be $355,200. The Rapid will request federal and state funds each year for the project over a three to four year period. By 2012, year-of-expenditure costs could rise as high as $39.5 million in FTA New Starts funding and up to $9.8 million in state matching funds, according to The Rapid.