Frequently Asked Questions / Tips for Riders

How to read bus schedule

How to read bus schedule

Wondering how to interpret the bus schedules? Watch this!

How to ride the Laker Line

How to ride the Laker Line

An overview of the Laker Line bus system and features. The bus route runs from GVSU Allendale Campus to the GVSU Grand Rapids Campuses.

- How much does it cost to ride the Rapid?
The bus is free for all current students, faculty, and staff with their GVSU ID card. Alumni and retiree ID cards do not apply for the free ridership. Ticket fare info can be found on The Rapid's website. Please be prepared for fare enforcement officer (not driver) to ask for proof of payment/ID on the Laker Line.

- How late does the bus run?
Click here to view the latest schedules.

- Where can I get schedules?
Click here to access all of the routes and schedules.

- Which schedule do I refer to?
Fall / Winter Semesters (in general, first day of class to end of exam week, with exceptions below)

  • Dates of Holidays/Break Service to include:
    • FALL: Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving Week, December Semester Break, Christmas Eve through New Years Day and days prior to start of Winter Semester.
    • WINTER: Spring Break, Semester Break prior to start of Spring Semester

Spring / Summer Semesters (in general, first day of class to end of exam week, with exceptions below)

  • Dates of Holidays/Break Service to include:
    • SPRING: Memorial Day Weekend
    • SUMMER: Independence Day Recess, Semester Break prior to start of Fall Semester

- What do I do if I left an item on the bus?
All items left on the bus are taken back to The Rapid Central Station Security/Lost & Found.
Occasionally items may be taken off the bus by another rider and turned in to the 2020 Info Desk at Kirkhof Center (616-331-2020) or to GVPD (616-331-3255).

- Can I take the bus to _________?
You can take any Rapid bus throughout the city for FREE. Click here for help getting to your destination.

- Why doesn't the bus go to ____________?
GVSU understands that there are many different needs for each individual person and we try to address each suggestion that we have. We simply cannot go to all locations and do our best to provide the most appropriate service that we can. If you have an idea for a location, click here to put in a suggestion. Also, don't forget to fill out our annual survey and let us know your ideas.

- When will the next bus arrive?
Click here to find out!

- What is the Laker Line?
The Laker Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses began service on 8/24/20 and have replaced standard busing on Route 50. The new BRT buses feature larger capacity (articulated buses), wifi, level boarding and real-time arrival time display at enhanced stations, and traffic signal priority for a faster commute. 

- ADA features:

  • The name of the route on all buses is announced externally every time the bus opens its doors.
  • Level platform boarding for Laker Line; "kneeling" w external platform for the 37/48/85 route buses.

How To Ride The Bus:

  • Please wait until the bus has come to a complete stop at the bus stop, before approaching the front door.
  • Please board at the front door only.
  • Please exit at the rear door. This will expedite the boarding of passengers.
  • Please do not cross in front of the bus after exiting. Please wait until the bus has pulled away from the bus stop and you have a clear field of vision in both directions before crossing the street.
  • Please use designated bus stops only. For your safety buses may only board or alight passengers at designated stops.
  • Please do not stand in front of the yellow line in the front of the bus. This is a federal safety regulation to allow the bus driver a clear field of vision.
  • Please hold on to a post, if you are standing, while the bus is in motion.
  • Please move to the rear of the bus after boarding, so that as many as possible may board the bus.
  • Please use the next stop requested to signal the driver that you would like to exit at the next stop.
  • Please take an earlier bus, especially during peak times and inclement weather when there may be many more passengers using the bus, to assure that you arrive at your destination on time.
  • Please check that you have all of your personal items (backpack, purse, gym bag, etc.) when you leave the bus.
  • Please be safe and have a safe and pleasant day!

Tips on Using Our Services

The GVSU Bus Service provides free transportation on and between campuses for faculty, staff and students. The system operates as a fixed-route, scheduled service. Service is scheduled to have the maximum number of buses going between campuses at peak times.

  • Overcrowding: At peak times, the buses will be overcrowded. Plan to leave earlier at those times and expect crowded conditions. Our buses are designed to hold standees equal to the seating capacity. When boarding a fully-loaded bus, standees should move to the rear of the bus to allow additional passengers to board.

Laws require that no passengers stand in front of the line marked on the floor of the bus to ensure that the driver has a clear view and to protect passengers in the case of a sudden stop. When loading a bus, the driver will determine when the bus has reached its capacity even though it may seem to passengers that more space is available.

  • Boarding and Exiting the Bus: Passengers should be waiting at the bus stop prior to the scheduled times. Buses will pick up passengers only at the designated bus stops. Passengers boarding the bus should use the front door. Passengers getting off should use the rear door. Using the front door to exit the bus interferes with the passengers boarding and paying the fare and will slow down the boarding process. This will in turn cause the bus to run behind schedule, inconveniencing all the other passengers on board.

Be attentive of your destination. Do not ring the bell prior to the bus stop before your desired destination. Whenever possible, wait until bus has turned onto the street where your stop is located. Only one ring of the bell is necessary to alert the driver that you want to get off at the next stop. After exiting the bus, do not cross or stand in front of the bus. This will keep the bus from leaving the stop and delays other passengers. Wait until the bus leaves the stop before crossing the street.

A moving vehicle is always dangerous, especially a large bus. Never run alongside a moving bus, or pound on the side to get the driver's attention. Once a bus starts moving, the driver will not stop to pick up additional passengers. Large crowds often wait at the bus stops. It is dangerous to press towards an oncoming bus while it is still moving. Persons in front may be forced into the path of the bus

Bus Safety Tips

General Tips:

  • Plan your route ahead of time. Know the bus schedule, so you aren't forced to wait longer than necessary.
  • Observe the behavior of those around you.
  • Travel with a friend or co-worker whenever possible.
  • If riding a route where you need to show ID, have it ready so that you don't have to fumble with your purse/wallet.
  • Avoid talking to strangers, especially in isolated areas. Never give out any personal information. The person you're talking to may be fine, but others can overhear.

Walking To/From the Bus Stop:

  • Briskly and confidently walk to your destination
  • Scan the area as you walk and be aware of the people in the area.
  • lf someone looks suspicious, move away from him/her.
  • Have your keys out and ready before you reach your vehicle/residence.


  • Try to avoid isolated bus stops. When riding a bus, use a stop that's well lit and near a coffee shop/store that's open.
  • When waiting for a bus, stand near other passengers and in well-lighted areas. Move to your bus as it arrives.
  • Keep your belongings secure at all times.
  • Don't get too involved with reading/listening to music while you wait. Stay alert!

On the Bus:

  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Stay awake.
  • Refrain from listening to music or wearing headphones while riding the transit system (iPods, cell phones, and portable radios will distract you and could make you a potential target).
  • Keep your belongings secure at all times. Hold on firmly to your purse or briefcase. Don't put it on the seat beside you. Keep it in your lap or wedge it between your feet.
  • During off hours, ride as near the bus driver as possible; find a moderately crowded section of the bus.
  • Sit near the aisle so you can get up quickly if someone bothers you.
  • Move away from people who appear intoxicated.
  • lf trouble occurs, notify the bus driver.

Page last modified July 15, 2024