Archive for Sunday, August 19, 2007

K-10 busing service to stay

Route connects Lawrence with K.C. campuses

August 19, 2007

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Chuck Ferguson from Johnson County Transit on the K-10 Connector bus

Chuck Ferguson, deputy transportation director for Johnson County Transit, explains the K-10 Connector bus service.

Riders board and exit the K-10 Connector bus in the Kansas University-Lawrence Park & Ride lot near Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive. The K-10 bus offers daily, round-trip rides to Johnson County Community College and KU's Edwards Campus.

Riders board and exit the K-10 Connector bus in the Kansas University-Lawrence Park & Ride lot near Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive. The K-10 bus offers daily, round-trip rides to Johnson County Community College and KU's Edwards Campus.

The bus

Paul Decelles took pictures of his Friday morning ride to work on The Jo. Enlarge video

A growing commuter bus service between Lawrence and Johnson County will remain open in 2008 even without funding from Lawrence city leaders.

The city was asked to provide $50,000 for the K-10 Connector bus service.

"We will continue it through at least 2008," said Chuck Ferguson, deputy transportation director for Johnson County Transit. "The ridership is great, and it is something people have been asking for for a long time."

Funding questions, though, do remain for the service, which provides rides primarily between Johnson County Community College, Kansas University's Edwards Campus, Haskell Indian Nations University and KU's main campus Monday through Friday. That's because about 55 percent of the $365,000 bus service is being funded by a federal grant aimed at reducing air pollution. That grant expires in 2009.

"I think we'll be asking for funding from Lawrence again in the future, and probably from the state, too," Ferguson said.

For 2008, city leaders said they couldn't spare the money. Cliff Galante - the city's public transit administrator - recommended the $50,000 in funding, but the request never received much consideration from city commissioners. That was, in part, because finding money for the city-operated T system was a challenge. Commissioners were prepared to cut the hours to the T, but instead agreed on a property tax rate increase to avoid a cut in service.

"At the end of the day, it was a struggle for us to just keep our existing city service," Galante said.

Ferguson said the service has been popular since it began operating in January. He said the buses provide about 300 rides per day. Johnson County transit leaders had not expected it to reach those levels until about five years into its existence.

"What we're hearing from a lot of people is that they're just tired of driving," Ferguson said. "They've decided that it is just nice to ride."

Galante said he thought the service had the potential to be popular with Lawrence commuters, if a few changes are made. Currently, the number of connections that riders can make with the Johnson County system is limited. That means the system primarily is serving Lawrence residents who want to get to the Edwards Campus or Johnson County Community College.

Galante said ideally the system should allow riders to easily transfer to another bus that could take them to more locations in Johnson County. Ferguson said Johnson County leaders are looking at that possibility, but said it would take a significant amount of changes to the Johnson County transit system.

"But we agree that there is huge potential, especially if we can expand the service here," Ferguson said. "I think we all know without question that the price of gas is going to accelerate. More and more people will choose to ride transit for economic reasons."

Comments

hipper_than_hip 7 years, 11 months ago

So the city can fund a transit system in Lawrence that doesn't work, but can't find any money to assist Johnson county in funding a transit system that does work. Good job Lawrence city commissioners. See if you can fund some more things around here that don't work.

ukillaJJ 7 years, 11 months ago

I agree with hipper_than_hip.

Lawrence is a "progressive" town with things like recycling programs (thanks Wal-Mart), public transit (thanks KU and the JO), and battle-field like roads and sidewalks (thanks City of Lawrence).

Why exactly did Iowa get re-paved in between 23rd and 15th, when there are plenty of roads in much worse condition? I know that there is usually a "schedule" for road repairs but I don't remember anything being wrong with that stretch of road.

camper 7 years, 11 months ago

I wonder why Lawrence does not put down more concrete. It seems to last many times longer than asphalt and withstands severe weather much better. It is also safer because it is not as slick when it rains. Though it is probably more expensive, it is an investment that may be worthwile. The concrete that was laid down in my hometown was installed in 1975. It has never been removed and it seems to be just as good as new.

Ragingbear 7 years, 11 months ago

The reason they don't make roads that last is because if they spend 10 million on roads this year, then they will get 10 million next year for their roads. But being that next year there will be very little road work needed, the year after that will get them 1 million. It's a stupid concept that is in play with almost every government funded department out there. It's also a big reason as to why we pay so much in taxes.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 11 months ago

dialupandy's recommendation is violates the prohibition "taking of private property for public use" idea in the 5th Amendment.

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