Autonomous Shuttles Resume in Downtown GR on August 31
You may already be seeing the white May Mobility shuttle back on the streets of downtown Grand Rapids, but you can't ride them yet. Due to Covid-19 they put their service on hold back in March.
The shuttle will resume operation on Monday, August 31 with hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays only.
This is all part of a $650,000 grant for the Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative nicknamed #AVGR. Originally, the testing was supposed to end this summer. No word on when the testing will end.
And while it's supposed to autonomous, there has always been a driver in the vehicle to monitor things, that sometimes has to override the system and take control around traffic and other obstacles in downtown. So far, they have not gone totally autonomous and that's probably a good thing. We haven't heard of any May Mobility Shuttles getting into any accidents. Don't think that little vehicle the size of an oversized golf cart would fare well in a crash with a SUV.
Good news is that May Mobility is still FREE and follows the DASH West route. The route goes around Van Andel up Ionia, West on Pearl, then up to Bridge Street and back again. Pick up points are the same pink colored DASH West stops. BTW, if you're waiting at a DASH stop just take the Pink Bus when it shows up, there is more room and it's easier to social distance. DASH stands for Downtown Area Shuttle.
Download the "myStop" app to track the May Mobility Shuttle and all other buses including the Silver Line and all of The Rapid's lines. It will show exactly where the buses are on the map routes.
The May Mobility shuttles have room for five passengers and I'm sure the capacity will be less now with social distancing concerns and masks may be mandatory, too.
Funny from the logo I originally thought it said "My Way" but it just says "MAY" on the side.
Companies investing are May Mobility, Gentex, Consumers Energy, Steelcase and some other local investors, plus the city of Grand Rapids.