You and four other passengers can now ride autonomous shuttles for free in downtown Grand Rapids. The one-year pilot program officially launched Friday.
Josh Naramore, the Director of the city’s mobility department known as Mobile GR, says the city and its private partners will be gathering data from the shuttles for the next year.
“As part of that we’re going to be constantly doing monthly check-ins with them in ridership, cost effectiveness, you know public feedback,” Naramore said.
Naramore says the shuttles will run Tuesday through Friday from 7am-7pm, and on Saturday from 10am-7pm.
He says the city and its partners will be looking for ways to improve the shuttles.
"Making these vehicles accessible for people of all ages and mobility levels," he said.
Naramore says the shuttles run along the existing Dash West bus route in and around downtown Grand Rapids.
Cities like Detroit and Columbus have already launched pilot programs for autonomous shuttles. Naramore says Grand Rapids is the fourth in the country to try a pilot program like this.
This post has been updated to clarify Josh Naramore's role with the city of Grand Rapids.