By Spencer Payne
Beginning Thursday, Nov. 14The Rapid bus service will no longer offer paper tickets for purchase on the bus or from Rapid Central Station.
Today will be the last day that The Rapid will be selling paper tickets before the new “Wave” card is phased in on Thursday. The Wave card is a smart card that is designed to be easier to use. Similar to a debit card, you will need to add funds to it. Once you’re on the bus all you need to do is “tap and ride.” The Wave card is available for purchase for a one time fee of $3.00 at Rapid Central Station in downtown Grand Rapids, online at ridetherapid.org, and from multiple local retailers including Walgreens, CVS, and Speedway. Those are also where you can load funds into your card.
You don’t need to go out and get one just yet as all paper tickets are still valid until summer 2020. Additionally, any location that previously sold paper tickets will continue to sell what stock they have left until they run out.
Going away with the paper tickets is the student discount. Previously students could purchase 10-ride tickets for $10.50. With the change to one singular card that will no longer be available for purchase from Rapid and students will pay the standard adult fee of $1.75 per ride on the Wave car., However, seniors and disabled riders will keep their current discounts.
The student discount won’t be gone for long, as Rapid has plans to bring back student discounts through a new “Student Partner Card” which is predicted to be available in January 2020 and will be available through local colleges to enrolled students.
If you’re in need of paper tickets or want to stock up, the Student Life and Conduct Office located on the first floor of the Student Center will continue to sell their stock of paper tickets which they predict will last the rest of the semester.
For more information on the Wave card, click here.