Archive for Wednesday, September 15, 1999

PANEL TO SET PRIORITIES FOR BUS ROUTES

September 15, 1999

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The second of two public comment sessions on proposed bus routes for a Lawrence public transit system was held Monday.

The public has had its say. Now it is time for the Lawrence Public Transit Advisory Committee to decide which of seven proposed new bus routes should get top priority.

About 100 people commented on the proposed routes during two public meetings this past week, the last of which was Monday at Lawrence Visitors Center, city officials said.

"We're pleased with the turnout," said Steve Klika, one of the consultants with K.A. Associates, which is helping design the fixed-route bus system.

The advisory committee will vote Thursday morning on a list that ranks the seven routes in order of importance. Based on public input, officials said, the list also may include adjustments to the earlier proposed routes.

Committee recommendations then will go Sept. 21 to the Lawrence City Commission for consideration.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said the priority list is important because it will help decide which routes are funded the first year of operation in case there isn't enough money to fund all seven proposed routes.

Over the next several weeks, Wildgen said, city officials will get a clearer picture of how much the system will cost when they receive bids for the purchase of vehicles and for a contractor to operate the bus system.

K.A. Associates is still writing bid specifications, but Klika said a summary of the documents should be ready by Thursday's committee meeting.

Wildgen said the city expects to complete the bidding process sometime this fall.

-- Peter Hancock's phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is phancock@ljworld.com.

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