Did you realize we had a free bus service for Downtown Grand Rapids?  Apparently not that many people do, which is why soon the DASH (or Downtown Area Shuttle) bus service will go through a makeover.

According to MLive, in an effort to step up ridership, Mobile GR which oversees parking and transit in the city, is planning to re-wrap the buses with a new yet-to-be-announced name and fix the issues with “Where do those buses stop?” by implementing fixed and more easily recognized stops.

Mobile GR’s manager, Josh Naramore told MLive:

"One of the biggest pieces of feedback we've received is, it's a great service but it's hard for people to figure out where the stops are."

regarding the new stops, from the MLive story:

DASH stops are marked with small circular street signs that are often moved due to construction projects. In the future, Naramore said some of the DASH stops would be consolidated with existing Rapid stops downtown.

The DASH West Route runs from South of Wealthy St. to downtown, crosses the river on Pearl St., then north to Bridge St.   The DASH North route runs along Monroe Ave from Lyon St to Leonard with a short jog along Michigan to Ottawa.

Ideally, the city would like more people riding the bus line as parking in the downtown area is a problem since parking areas are at the bottom of the priority list on city rebuilding.

MLive reports the city pays The Rapid 1.5 Million a year to run the bus line which averages about 24,000 on DASH West and 5,000 on DASH North each month.

Mobile GR hopes to have the buses rebranded by mid-august.