The Rapid bus service is making changes to fare payments that go into effect this Saturday, August 1st.

The changes include:

  • The elimination of free transfers for riders paying cash fare
  • The elimination of change cards for riders paying cash fare without exact change
  • The elimination of the fare free zone on the Silver Line in downtown Grand Rapids
  • The elimination of fare free service on Route 19 (Michigan Crosstown

The Rapid says they provided notice of these changes and began collecting public feedback in mid-June.

They clarify that the cost to ride The Rapid is not changing, and cash fare will always be accepted as a form of payment:

These changes mean that cash-paying customers will no longer receive a change card if they board without exact change, and they will no longer have the option of a free transfer. However, Wave card users can utilize unlimited transfers for 1 hour and 45 minutes after boarding.

The Wave card, which is The Rapid's e-fare payment system, is available to buy and reload at Rapid Central Station,Walgreens, Speedway, and other retailers around Grand Rapids-- a full list of locations where Wave cards are sold can be found here.

Previously, riders were able ride the Silver Line north of Wealthy Street for free; starting Saturday riders will have to pay a valid fare to ride the Silver Line on the entire route.

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