Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit
Design Awards / Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit
Isaac V. Norris and Associates
Regional/Urban Design: 2015
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Silver Line project is a bus rapid transit line that is comprised of 33 shelters spread across 17 locations. The project spans a 10 mile corridor of Division Avenue from Wyoming to Kentwood and into downtown Grand Rapids. The goal of the Silver Line is to provide efficient, time saving transportation. Like a light rail system, the pickup and drop off of passengers is meant to be seamless. The stations facilitate this in a number of ways. Integrated ticket vending machines allow the purchase tickets ahead of time. The shelters are raised to bus level allow for barrier free access. Each shelter provides Wi-Fi and wait-time signage. The shelters keep passengers fully informed and connected. This changes the act of waiting for a bus into a kinetic experience. Waiting can be considered a productive activity. Lighting and emergency phones are provided to ensure the safety of passengers. The use of metal and glass anchor the shelters to the aesthetic of the vibrant contemporary city. The columns of the shelters were designed to have a “lean back look” as if reacting to the speed of the passing buses. The columns and the canopies meet organically to become one whole. The greatest challenge that the project presented was adapting the design to 33 sites. Each site had its own setback, right of way, and topography and infrastructure requirements that had to be adhered to while maintaining continuity of the prototype design. The Silver Line project will ultimately provide attractive alternatives to the daily commute for the communities of Wyoming, Kentwood and Grand Rapids. The shelter design facilitates the comfort of the riders and gives them the ability to actively engage in the way they get to their destination.