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24 hours in Lawrence

Ride along the T

May 22, 2007

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Richard Ferguson, 65, wants passengers to stay safe when they ride the T. He has been a driver for the Lawrence Transit System for three years.

Richard Ferguson, 65, wants passengers to stay safe when they ride the T. He has been a driver for the Lawrence Transit System for three years.

Riding the T

On May 10, Journal-World society editor rode Richard Ferguson's route on the T. Enlarge video

A driver for the Lawrence Transit System for three years, Richard Ferguson's top priority is helping passengers have a safe trip.

"These buses are checked out every single day - tires, brakes, everything," says Ferguson, 65, of Ottawa.

At 7:40 a.m., four passengers join Ferguson as he begins another circuit on his route, which starts near Ninth and Massachusetts streets and heads to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine, and the Lawrence Paper Co., 2801 Lakeview Road.

Trains crossing the bus route at North Iowa Street and West Lakeview Road along the city's northern edge sometimes delay his bus, Ferguson says, but not today.

In northwest Lawrence, lawyers John Emerson and Martin Miller board the bus on their way to work in separate offices downtown.

"This is the lawyer route," Emerson says. "(But) we do allow non-lawyers to ride."

The criteria for riders is fairly lenient, Miller says with a smile, and includes "any straight-thinking individual who wants to help the environment and save money on gas."

At 8:20 a.m., Ferguson eases the bus to a stop at Ninth and New Hampshire streets before heading through East Lawrence to Haskell Indian Nations University and a return trip downtown.

Ferguson worries about other drivers who might not be as careful as he is, and he understands the importance of the bus service.

"You meet people from all walks of life," he says. "From people who have a little bit of money to people who don't have any. You get to see a slice of life. It's a good route."

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

greyheim, Are you angry? Because you seem angy.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight asked greyheim "Are you angry? Because you seem angy."

Ironically enough, I thought SettingTheRecordStraight's post that started this thread seemed angry. And it certainly provided bait for greyheim (and I suspect SettingTheRecordStraight intended to bait some people with it).

greyheim's points regarding the benefit we all receive from people having access to work and retail they wouldn't otherwise have access to is quite right, by the way.

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

The buses are full at certain times of the day. Ridership is increasing all the time. It takes any public transportation system a few years to get going. The T is getting great support and it will get more support as time goes on and people figure out how easy and cost-effective it is to ride.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

"The buses are full at certain times of the day."

Perhaps we should buy more and bigger buses for these commuter-packed routes.

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