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October 1, 2002

Communities in Motion

Several years ago, in an effort to deal with the parking crunch on campus, Calvin launched a creative partnership with the local public transit authority. Calvin students, faculty and staff can show their Calvin ID cards and ride the bus for a reduced rate.

Students, faculty and staff pay just 25 cents to ride the bus with the college pitching in 35 cents per ride. The bus driver punches a code on the on-board computer and Calvin gets a statement with a record of how many rides are logged to and from campus each month.

Strong enrollments and a full calendar of events have ensured that Calvin’s parking lots are rarely empty, but the transit program is paying off. Gerry Steele, Calvin’s Director of Campus Safety, reported that while he doesn’t have the numbers yet for the first month of the 2002-03 academic year, bus ridership peaked last spring with more than 7,500 rides recorded by Calvin students, faculty and staff in the interim and spring semester of 2002. The overall use of the program more than doubled between the 1999-2000 academic year and 2001-02.

This week Calvin supports the efforts of several Grand Rapids area non-profits by encouraging students, faculty and staff to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to campus. Communities in Motion is a week of raising awareness about alternative commute options and how these alternatives affect the health and vitality of our community. As part of this effort Calvin will host the Rev. Andy DeBraber, director of Faith and Motion and one of the organizers of the week long awareness campaign.

“Faith in Motion,” says DeBraber, “is an exciting coalition of 65 churches and synagogues as well as numerous individuals working for better ways to build community and get people where they need to go.”

DeBraber called Calvin’s transit partnership, along with a similar program at Grand Valley State University,“ models for our community.”

DeBraber will be on Calvin’s campus on Wednesday, October 2 to talk about the work of Faith in Motion and to facilitate a lunch hour discussion about transit needs in the area.

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)