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Lawrence residents weigh in about how they would improve the city's public transit system.
What specific changes would you support to improve transit in town?
Submit your ideas online
People interested in submitting ideas about the future of transit in Lawrence may fill out input forms available at www.getonthebuslawrence.org. The deadline is Jan. 9.
Now that they’ve closed the door on the second transit open house of the week, transportation leaders are eager to start reviewing the results in search of comments, concepts, trends — anything that could help accelerate plans to boost coordination between city and Kansas University systems.
“People voted to make this happen,” said Danny Kaiser, assistant director of parking and transit at KU. “We want to make sure that if people have specific ideas and suggestions, they get a chance to share them with us.
“You never know what great idea will walk through that door.”
The three-hour open house drew dozens of people into the auditorium at the Lawrence Public Library, where transit leaders both distributed surveys and simply listened to what people had to say.
The goal is to keep momentum going for bus and other public-transportation services in town — through KU on Wheels, which primarily serves KU students; and the T, which runs city buses and a door-to-door paratransit service for elderly and disabled passengers.
Lawrence residents voted last month to pay more in sales taxes during the next 10 years to both preserve and improve transit in Lawrence. The campaign included a push to coordinate the two systems.
KU on Wheels and the T already honor each other’s passes, but that’s only the beginning, Kaiser said. The next step is to identify opportunities to avoid duplication, to perhaps add service, and to otherwise make the systems more seamless.
The era of “this is their bus” and “this is our bus,” Kaiser said, will soon end.
“We don’t want that anymore,” he said. “These are our buses.”
By spring break in March, he said, leaders would like to have established some changes that can improve services all around. That could mean realigning routes, adjusting schedules and tackling other such complicated and detailed tasks.
Leaders intend to hire a consultant, likely in January, to handle such duties, using guidance from city and KU leaders. Those leaders, Kaiser said, will be relying on their own expertise as well as the public input gathered during Thursday’s open house and its predecessor Tuesday on campus.
Working fast is key, Kaiser said, because many KU students will be deciding by spring break where they’ll be living next year.
“We’ll do as much as we reasonably can,” he said.