To the editor:
Being somewhat skeptical of the new public transit plan, I attended one of the public meetings. Now, if the newspaper article is correct and 100 people attended, then there are 99 more to comment on the meetings. Having attendance of only 100 people from the total population of the city of Lawrence is SAD and makes me wonder if it wouldn't be cheaper to give those 100 people private taxi service and call it quits!
I still am skeptical about the future financing of this system and fully expect the mill levy to increase from the current proposed 3 mills to a higher level next year for transportation. With that thought in mind, I will share four concerns that I expressed at the meeting.
1. The Iowa Street route should be continuous from North Iowa (Santa Fe Industrial Park) straight south to 35th Street.
2. Fares shuld be $1 one way with transfers in direction of travel. Reduced fares for coupon book purchase and these could be purchased by businesses to give or sell to employees if, in fact, the business and employees would benefit from bus service.
3. KU on Wheels should be revamped SOON and have three city-to-campus express routes that take students to 19th and Naismith, 15th and Iowa and 11th and MIssissippi. At these points, a new system known as campus express vans will move students across the campus. This would be much more efficient because smaller buses would be used, and less travel time would be involved because no buses would be going off campus.
4. The empty building at the north end of the Santa Fe Industrial Park currently for lease should be secured by lease only to house the new buses. This location gives immediate north-south access in Lawrence via Iowa Street and gives immediate North Lawrence access via the turnpike. This location provides convenient access to Sixth Street, Kasold, Lawrence Avenue, Wakarusa, 19th, 31st and 23rd streets and again with the north-south Iowa route. Any consideration to housing buses east of Iowa and between Sixth and 31st streets will only result in delays and inefficient travel time. That area of town is already too congested and the streets are too clogged and too narrow in some places to even maneuver buses on.
I am eagerly sitting back now to see how well-thought-out this new venture for Lawrence is going to be.