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Bus riders in Grand Rapids will have a new way to pay their fare

Wave card being used on a bus in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Wave card being used on a bus in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids’ bus service wants to be more efficient and help the environment. That’s why it’s introducing a new electronic fare system Tuesday.

The new Wave cards will replace the paper tickets and change that riders usually pay with.

Michael Bulthuis, the Marketing and Communications Manager at The Rapid, says this system will be easier and more efficient.

“So every time a customer boards the bus, rather than inserting a paper ticket into the fare box, they’ll have their Wave card, it’s an electronic card and they’ll tap it to the reader and they’ll board the bus,” Bulthuis says.

Bulthuis says the company will accept paper tickets for the foreseeable future but within the next two years, “we want to be completely paperless."

Riders can reload their cards like a debit card instead of losing or damaging their paper ticket.

The Rapid has about 10 million annual riders, or 850,000 each month. Bulthuis thinks this will also be great for the environment.

He says the company’s use of paper tickets means more paper material is being used that usually results in liter. So one lifetime card that can be used over and over again will help reduce liter in the city.

For more details on the Wave card, visit theRapid’s website.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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