Transit Growth Eyed

November 16, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — At a special meeting called by the Grand Valley Metro Council Tuesday, representatives from several area townships gathered to discuss the possibility of expanding The Rapid transit service outside of the metropolitan area into suburban and rural Kent and maybe eastern Ottawa counties.

There have been concerns among outlying cities and townships because of decreasing Community Block Grant Development funds, which finance the Hope Network-run North Kent Transit Service, explained Jim Fetzer, director of development for The Rapid. The outlying areas are also served by The Rapid’s CountyConnection service, which at $14 per one-way trip is too costly for many people. So area township officials wanted to get together with county officials to talk about potential long-term solutions for improving transit services in their areas. Plainfield Township Manager Robert Homan initiated the effort.

“The Rapid has offered to put $100,000 into a latent demand or “needs” study of the outlying areas, but we feel it’s going to take more than that to really do a decent study, so we’re asking the townships and the county to participate as well,” Fetzer said, adding that The Rapid estimates a study of that kind would run closer to $200,000.     

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