A Beginner’s Guide to Grand Rapids Buses

Needing to be at Calvin for lunch but not really caring to set off at the crack of dawn to travel in with Kari, today seemed like a good opportunity to try out the bus system. I’ve picked up from a few people that travelling on the town’s buses can be a little daunting for those who’ve not tried it before, so I thought a few words about the experience would be in order.

On climbing aboard it wasn’t hard to spot the ticket machine. Slightly in front of the driver, to the right as you’re looking at them, and about at waist level. There was space to slip in an existing bus ticket or for dollar bills. I’d expected my fare to Calvin to be $1 but somehow it only came to 50 cents, so after I inserted my dollar into the machine and informed the driver of my destination, a ticket printed which also bears 50c credit.

The driver remembered that I was bound for Calvin and pulled over just a little way from the bus stop. That was lucky for me as the bus stop was surrounded by somewhere near 2′ of snow that I definitely didn’t want to climb down into. If he hadn’t known when to stop for me, I would have pressed the button in one of the straps hanging by the windows every couple of rows.

So there you have it. Nice and simple, and pretty much like every other bus system in the world. Plus, it was a great opportunity to draw a little nearer to finishing reading Smart Mobs.



  1. How many stops are there in the grand rapids area. and how long of a trip is it from eastown to calvin. I have heard that some route are long and cant take you that close to where you need to go?

  2. Eastown to Calvin took about 15 minutes. Maybe slightly less if you’re starting closer to the heart of Eastown.

    http://www.ridetherapid.org has route maps and you can also pick them up at the downtown library.