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Archive for Wednesday, October 27, 1999

RESIDENTS LIKE IDEA OF NEW BUS SYSTEM

October 27, 1999

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The city's transit advisory committee will be given comments about ADA compliance and public transportation.

Lawrence residents said Tuesday they were pleased with the city's plans for public transportation as it relates to complying to the American's with Disabilities Act.

"If it goes the way they're planning it to go, and that's a big if, it will actually be a big improvement for people who are disabled, according to the ADA," said Michael Maher, who on Tuesday attended the second of two public comment sessions on the issue.

"The paratransit that we have now, it's all right, but you have to call ... three days ahead of time and then you might not get a ride," said Art Turner, who also stopped by on Tuesday to speak with city officials at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

About 15 people visited with city officials or filled out written comments at Tuesday's session.

Under the ADA, the city will be required to offer "paratransit" service for people with mobility impairments who cannot access the fixed-route bus system.

Officials have said one of the advantages to the city bus system is that its ADA-mandated paratransit service will take demand away from other systems, freeing them to accept more riders who may not meet the ADA guidelines for being "mobility-impaired."

Currently, most of those people rely on Kaw Regional Transit Inc. or one of the many social service organizations that participate in KRT.

KRT is a nonprofit corporation that coordinates transportation service provided by Independence Inc.; Douglas County Senior Services, which receives transportation funding from Douglas County; and the city-funded Douglas County Area Transit, among others.

Aaron Bartlett, a city transportation planner working on the project, said written comments submitted to the city would be gathered for the Public Transit Advisory Committee.

"We'll provide those to them in much the same way we did for the routes" when they were being proposed, he said.

The committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the city commission chambers at city hall.

"It looks like a good system if they can do it the way they're planning on doing it," Maher said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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