As Grand Rapids leaders work to increase public transit use, the city’s Downtown Area Shuttle, or DASH, will launch expanded service that features later hours, weekend rides and more convenient routes. The best part, these rides are free.
The expanded service is slated to begin on Monday, Aug. 27.
The weekend service is a first for the DASH. Late-night rides also will be available, with service until 1 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Pickups are scheduled to take place every eight minutes during operational hours at multiple stops along two DASH routes: DASH West and DASH North.
The changes are aimed at increasing ridership and accessibility, said Josh Naramore, manager of the City’s Mobile GR-Parking Services Department.
“With later hours and weekend service, the DASH becomes accessible to second-shift workers and more downtown visitors and residents,” Naramore said.
Mobile GR hopes to double DASH ridership within the next year, resulting in 60,000 monthly users.
Routes have been shifted and expanded slightly, and stops have been reconfigured to include more popular downtown destinations.
DASH West will provide access to the West Side, Monroe Center and Heartside. Points of interest on this route include David D. Hunting YMCA, Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Van Andel Arena and Bridge Street Market.
DASH North will service Creston, City Center and Medical Mile. Points of interest on this route include DeVos Place, Downtown Market, Founders Brewing, Spectrum Health and Belknap Park.
DASH buses have also received a makeover—they are now a bright pink. “We wanted to update the DASH brand to something playful and approachable but still distinctive and recognizable. That’s how we landed on a bright pink bus,” Naramore said. “You won’t be able to miss it.”
The new operational hours for DASH West and North are:
- Monday through Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (expanded by a half-hour)
- Thursday and Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. (expanded by three hours)
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. (new service)
- Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (new service)