With the arrival of buses this week, the wheels finally are turning for the Lawrence Transit System.
Five of the 12 buses are parked outside the new offices of city transit provider MV Transportation at 930 E. 30th St.
"It's exciting for MV to have their location, to be training the drivers, seeing the buses," said Karin Rexroad, the city's public transit administrator. "It just makes it all seem like it is coming together."
The city plans to start the citywide bus service Dec. 16.
"Hopefully it will be a benefit to everybody," Rexroad said. "They can do some holiday shopping and try it."
The city will be starting with leased, 20-passenger buses until the city's own buses can be delivered. Two of the bigger buses are expected in July and the remainder next fall.
Details for the T-lift, the companion service for disabled riders, also are being worked out. The service will use five vehicles now being used by the on-demand Kaw Regional Transit. The city will be buying out Lawrence Bus Co., which owns a share of the vehicles.
MV was chosen by the city commission to certify riders as eligible for the paratransit service. Riders of the special service must be unable to ride the regular bus system.
Paratransit riders will pay $1 a ride. Riders of the fixed-route system 6 years old and above will pay 50 cents a ride. Riders below age 6 can board for free. Disabled riders and those older than 60 will pay only 25 cents.