The Rapid begins service on the Laker Line

Aug. 25, 2020
The $72.8-million project is designed to enhance the connection between GVSU’s Allendale campus and downtown Grand Rapids.

Michigan Grand Valley State University (GVSU) students, faculty and staff are returning to campus this week and have a new transit option to travel between GVSU’s Allendale campus and downtown Grand Rapids: the Laker Line.  

The Lake Line is The Rapid’s – and the state of Michigan’s – second bus rapid transit (BRT) line. The Rapid calls the opening of the Laker Line “the next innovative step in the 20-year partnership between The Rapid and Grand Valley State University.” 

“The Laker Line project is an energizing example of the collaborative spirit of West Michigan,” said Nick Monoyios, planning manager and Laker Line project manager at The Rapid. “Through planning, development and construction, the seven-year partnership between federal, state and local agencies has successfully made Michigan’s second BRT a reality. I’ve been privileged to work alongside an array of dedicated project staff in service to my alma mater, GVSU.”

The $72.8-million project was funded with a grant covering 80 percent of the cost from the Federal Transit Administration through the Capital Investment Grant Program and a 20-percent match from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The Laker Line serves 13 stations and features transit signal priority, 16 high-capacity, articulated compressed natural gas buses, level platform boarding with precision docking of vehicles, off-board fare collection and a new light maintenance facility. The 60-foot articulated buses also have on-board Wi-Fi, USB charging ports on all seats and internal display screens for service messages.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.