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Community updates: Thursday, June 24

Grand Rapids Community Foundation joins national initiative to address Michigan’s criminal justice system inequities; The Rapid offering free rides for Wave cardholders through June 30.
Downtown Grand Rapids skyline at dusk.

Downtown Grand Rapids skyline at dusk. /Experience Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Community Foundation joins national initiative to address Michigan’s criminal justice system inequities

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF) has joined a group of national and local foundations in awarding $2 million to support an initiative designed to address inequities in Michigan’s criminal justice system.

Called the Michigan Justice Fund, the initiative is funding 12 Michigan-based organizations that will help stem the flow of people into the system. It also aims to support the investment of public dollars to community-driven alternatives to incarceration and ensure those returning home after incarceration receive the support they need to flourish.

The initiative is led by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Several of the organizations funded through it are based in Grand Rapids and have already been grant partners with the GRCF prior to its launch, according to the GRCF.

“We were really happy to see some of our current grant partners be supported at a state level to do work that we’ve seen have a positive impact in Grand Rapids,” GRCF Program Director Janean Couch said of its grant partners’ new Michigan Justice Fund support.

The 12 grant recipients are:

More details about the Michigan Justice Fund, the GRCF’s involvement, and other participating foundations are available on the GRCF’s website.


The Rapid offering free rides for Wave cardholders through June 30

Riders of The Rapid who show their Wave card when boarding the bus through June 30 will be able to ride for free, the transit service announced.

The free rides are part of an appreciation event for Wave cardholders, running through July 1 and launched on June 20.

The Wave card is The Rapids’ electronic fare system, which the transit service has continued to transition into as its primary medium of payment for riders. As part of this transition, The Rapid already discontinued 10-ride paper tickets in March.

The Rapids’ appreciation event comes on the heels of its Board of Directors’ March 24 approval of changes to the Wave card, effective July 1. Among changes are Wave cards no longer going into a negative balance, the cards transitioning to daily and monthly fare capping, and all existing discounted partner fare programs being standardized at a discounted rate of $1.25.

“These changes are intended to simplify and improve the riding experience for our customers,” The Rapids' acting Communications Manager, Brittany Schlacter, said. “They were informed by feedback from customers, as well as industry-standard best practices.”

A full list of Wave card changes coming July 1 is available on The Rapids’ website.


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