The Rapid to Implement Fare Payment Changes on Aug. 1, 2020
Changes on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, following the collection of public feedback.
Several fare payment changes will take place on The Rapid’s bus service this week beginning Saturday, August 1, 2020. These changes include:
- The elimination of free transfers for riders paying cash fare
- The elimination of change cards for riders paying cash fare without exact change
- The elimination of the fare free zone on the Silver Line in downtown Grand Rapids
- The elimination of fare free service on Route 19 (Michigan Crosstown) – this route is currently not in service
The Rapid provided notice of these changes and began collecting public feedback in mid-June. Four public meetings were held at Rapid Central Station in early July. Public comment was accepted via mail, email, phone, and social media, and two Facebook Live Q&A sessions were held to receive rider feedback.
The cost to ride The Rapid is not changing, and cash fare will always be accepted as a form of payment. These changes mean that cash-paying customers will no longer receive a change card if they board without exact change, and they will no longer have the option of a free transfer. However, Wave card users can utilize unlimited transfers for 1 hour and 45 minutes after boarding. GO!Bus paratransit service is unaffected by these changes.
The Wave card, The Rapid’s e-fare payment system, is available for purchase and reload at Rapid Central Station, local Walgreens stores, Speedway stations, and many other retail stores around The Rapid’s service area (a full list of Wave retail locations is available at wave.ridetherapid.org/retail-locations/). Purchase and use of the Wave card does not require a credit or debit card, or internet access, and offers multiple benefits to riders, including: faster boarding, no upfront cost for daily/weekly/monthly passes (riders pay as they go until they spend the equivalent cost of a pass), balance protection for lost or stolen cards that have been registered, and an automatic-reload option. Riders that have Wave card questions can call 616-776-1110 or visit wave.ridetherapid.org.
The elimination of the fare free zone on the Silver Line in downtown Grand Rapids means that riders will have to pay a valid fare to ride the Silver Line on the entire route. Riders were previously allowed to ride the Silver Line north of Wealthy Street for free. The elimination of fare free service on Route 19 (Michigan Crosstown) means that riders will have to pay a regular fare on Route 19 if and when it returns to service. Riders were previously allowed to ride Route 19 for free.
As a reminder, The Rapid’s COVID-19 safety precautions remain in place on all buses, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices and a requirement that all riders wear a mask while waiting for or utilizing The Rapid’s services.