|Township Supervisor Lesperance and Hope Network both stressed this route was created based on information received from area businesses who responded to township requests for employee transportation information. This route could change depending on ridership numbers and additional employer feedback. The township and Hope Network will be continually reviewing data to adjust stops and departure and arrival times as needed.
Where to board
Riders will board a smaller Hope Network bus in a parking lot on the north side of 28th Street near the three flag poles directly across from Acquest Avenue. Riders using the Rapid to reach this location will need to disembark there, at Rapid Route 5 Stop #2119 (28th Street/Aquest).
What about the disabled community?
Separately, Hope Network and the township are developing transportation solutions for Cascade residents with special needs and mobility issues. This service will begin Monday, Aug. 28 and is for Cascade residents only. Call 616.243.0876 for more information or to schedule a ride.
What about seniors?
For those over 60, the township recommends utilizing RideLink, Kent County’s dedicated transportation service for seniors. All Cascade residents 60 and older have access to RideLink to destinations anywhere within the borders of Kent County. Rides are available between the hours of 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Mondays-Fridays. Rides must be booked at least one day in advance and can be scheduled up to a week in advance. Riders can expect buses to arrive within a 15-minute window of the scheduled time. Rides cost $2 per trip, or $4 round-trip. Before scheduling a ride, you must register.
To register online, visit www.Ridelinkmi.com/home/registration.Those without internet access can request a physical registration form by calling 844-694-6589. Once registered, seniors can schedule a ride by phone by calling the same number listed above. For more information, visit ridelinkmi.com.
For the past several years, the Cascade Township DDA has paid for a portion of The Rapid’s Route 29, which has provided access to businesses (and municipal buildings) within the DDA boundary, primarily along 28th Street. This costs Cascade Township approximately $218,000 per year. The current contract with The Rapid expired on Aug. 27.
In an effort to be fiscally responsible and ensure Cascade’s residents, workers, and businesses are being served by The Rapid, Cascade Township took a proactive approach. Cascade’s DDA last spring conducted a transportation survey. After reviewing survey data and Rapid ridership data provided to the township, it became clear that Route 29 was not serving the needs of its riders.
In response to these findings, the township attempted to negotiate a new contract and new routes with The Rapid. The DDA presented several options for The Rapid to consider to both improve bus service in the DDA area and save the township funds in the process. In response, The Rapid offered to reduce the frequency of Route 29 service as an alternative. This offer was not acceptable to the township. Other options were presented, but The Rapid did not entertain those suggestions either. The Rapid then requested the Township renew a contract by June. Because of The Rapid’s inflexibility, the DDA at its June meeting voted to decline that contract, and research alternatives.