We’re testing a new way to build bus stops in an effort to speed up transit service, minimize traffic congestion and improve the streetspace for everybody.

This temporary “transit bulb,” installed in December 2019, extends the curb into the street and enables Rapid buses to pick up and drop off passengers without ever leaving the travel lane.

The goal is to decrease the time lost when buses pull over to the curb and then waste valuable time merging back in to traffic.

Time savings could range between 5 to 20 seconds per stop, which helps the bus move faster and more reliably and helps prevent traffic backups.

The time saved here is especially important because this location is one of the busiest stops in our Rapid transit network, and its immediately adjacent to one of the busiest traffic intersections in Downtown.

Building a Better Bus Stop

Transit bulbs extend the sidewalk out at transit stops to improve the overall experience for people using transit. The bulbs provide more space to wait and easier access to the vehicle as it arrives. They also increase operational efficiency because the transit vehicle does not have to pull over to the curb and then back out into traffic.

Installing the temporary transit bulb will enable Downtown place managers and local mobility professionals to test and measure the impact of the changes without the cost of completely redesigning or rebuilding the street.

The interim bulb can also be picked up and moved to other locations to further test the viability of installation at other stops. The intent is to pilot the installation at this location for at least one year. Similar tests have proven largely successful in such cities as Pittsburgh, Oakland and New York City.

This project flows from a series of community planning initiatives - including the City of Grand Rapids’ Vital Streets Plan, GR Forward and DGRI’s recent Streetspace Guidelines - all of which prioritized efforts to deliver safer, more comfortable experiences for people who walk, ride bicycles and take transit. Key partners include the City of Grand Rapids, the Rapid transit agency and DGRI.

The Zicla Transit Bulb is made of 100% recycled plastic, is easy to assemble and disassemble and meets ADA requirements. The partners procured the platform through a locally-owned company, Conceptual Site Furnishings, who also furnished and installed the platform through an agreement with the City.