The Rapid reintroducing Silver Line to new and returning customers with contactless payment in 2023

Nov. 15, 2022
The change improves customer experience, avoids expensive equipment replacements and aligns with how people pay fares on other buses in the system.

The Rapid is reintroducing the Silver Line to new and returning customers with on-board fare payments to prepare for contactless payments coming in 2023. The change improves customer experience, avoids expensive equipment replacements and aligns with how people pay fares on other buses in the system.

As the original ticket vending machines reach their end of life, The Rapid is preparing for convenient payment options onboard the Silver Line buses rather than replacing the expensive equipment. Transactions for fare will look just like the rest of The Rapid’s routes other than the Laker Line. These changes include installing Wave card readers and cash fareboxes onboard. These changes will prepare The Rapid for the contactless fare payment options, including Apple Pay and Google Pay coming in the spring 2023.

“We’re continually reviewing our system and our performance and taking the steps we need to, focusing on how The Rapid can improve mobility and access for all. We look at how we can make it easier for our customers to get from point A to point B, how to choose the best route or combination of transportation options and how to pay for fares in the most convenient way possible” said Deb Prato, The Rapid CEO.

The Rapid launched the Silver Line, Michigan’s first bus rapid transit service, in 2014. The Silver Line provided an express route for customers in the Division Avenue corridor and was equipped with the best technology available at the time.

The Silver Line blurs the lines between buses and trains by offering customers more amenities than a typical bus service. Customers have access to the park and ride options and convenient fare vending.

The Silver Line stations offer sheltered, accessible platform boarding and real-time arrival information. Traffic signal prioritization, hybrid diesel-electric buses, and high-frequency service are also features of this bus rapid transit service.

The Silver Line buses announce and stop at every station without customers needing to signal the driver. Each Silver Line bus is equipped with free Wi-Fi, allowing customers to multi-task to complete homework, work or entertain themselves as they move through the six cities served by The Rapid. With winter approaching, commuting by bus can be more relaxing than driving behind the wheel on slick roads.

Commuters can avoid US 131 traffic by using the 60th Street and Division Avenue park and ride lot and traveling on a Silver Line bus to downtown Grand Rapids. This free parking lot offers more than 200 parking spaces located at 5990 Division Avenue S.

Customers will use the same payment methods on Silver Line buses as the rest of the fixed-route bus system. Adult customers pay $1.75 per ride with exact cash or can receive the best value by purchasing a $47 monthly Wave card, The Rapid’s smart transit pass that launched in 2018 to make fare payments easier. With the Wave card, customers can receive the highest value for the amount with fare-capping and free transfers within one hour and 45 minutes. Specialty Wave cards, like youth and reduced fare, require picture identification and can be purchased at The Rapid’s Information Center within Central Station.

Adult Wave cards can be purchased online at