Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Travel & Tourism

National transit conference schedules trip

September 25, 2014
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Silver Line
Silver Line stops serving the Medical Mile, like these near Spectrum Health Butterworth, could encourage more health care development. Courtesy The Rapid

Grand Rapids is in line to be a “transit-learning laboratory” for the nation’s top advocates for public transportation.

Experience Grand Rapids said this week that the Center for Transportation Excellence will hold its annual conference here on June 1-3, 2015.

With 250 attendees and 250 room nights in Kent County, the conference is expected to generate sales of $245,779.

Public transit advocacy

The Center for Transportation Excellence serves as an information hub supporting quality transportation services.

The organization is committed to defending the merits of transit and equipping local leaders with the information they need to be successful with their public transportation initiatives and ballot measures.

Local “laboratory”

The center selected Grand Rapids based on the city’s successful transportation initiatives, including the newly launched bus rapid transit line, known as the Silver Line.

The Rapid’s Silver Line, which launched this August, is Michigan’s first BRT line.

“The city’s award-winning transit system and deep history of transit advocacy, leadership and innovation make it a perfect venue for CFTE,” said Jason Jordan, director, the Center for Transportation Excellence. “The opening of the Silver Line and recent electoral victories for transit are excellent examples for CFTE conference participants.”

Jordan said Grand Rapids will serve as a “great transit-learning laboratory for leaders from around the country.”

“This is a reflection not only of our outstanding meeting accommodations, restaurants and vibrant downtown, but the success and support The Rapid has seen over the previous 15 years,” said Peter Varga, CEO, The Rapid. “ We look forward to welcoming colleagues from across the country next June.”

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