UPDATE: For more up to date information on the Silver Line and The Rapid, please visit our friends at http://www.itpwatch.org.
The supporters of the proposed $110 million Silver Line bus system in Grand Rapids tout it as a “Bus Rapid Transit” line. The proposed route of the Silver Line is up Division from 60th Street, a jog around the hospitals around Michigan street, and back to the Rapid station. The total route, according to Rapid, is 9.8 miles. It will take 35 minutes for the new “Silver Line” to travel this route. An important note here is that, as we’ve previously pointed out, Division will be turned into an effective two lane road (one lane each way) so that these Silver Line buses can have their own dedicated lanes. This supposedly will speed these buses up because they won’t have to share these lanes with regular cars.
But wait, the Rapid already has a bus, route #1, that travels from the Clyde Park Meijer, down to 68th Street, up Division, and around to the Rapid station. The total distance for the current buses on this route is 12 miles, according to Google Maps. In addition, according to the Rapid’s web site, the buses on this route take about 33 minutes.
Let’s do the math. The Silver Line is supposed to take 35 minutes to travel 9.8 miles, with dedicated lanes on Division. The current #1 bus, traveling 12 miles, takes 33 minutes, sharing the lanes like every other vehicle on the road. The Silver Line factors out to be traveling at around 16.8 miles per hour. The current bus factors out to 20.57 miles per hour.
Huh? How do they call this Bus Rapid Transit? It’s Bus Slow Transit. It’s slower than the regular buses that take the same route now!
Don’t forget that these dedicated Silver Line lanes on Division will squeeze all current traffic on Division down to one lane in each direction. Traffic jam, anyone?
Be sure to cast your vote on this idea on Tuesday, May 5th, if you live in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Walker, Kentwood, or Grandville.
See our prior posts on this subject: