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Archive for Friday, December 12, 2008

Leaders mull transportation suggestions

Transit leaders are hearing from residents about how to improve public transportation.

December 12, 2008

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How would you improve transit in Lawrence?

Lawrence residents weigh in about how they would improve the city's public transit system.

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.

Comments

flux 6 years ago

flux (Anonymous) says… The buses need to be downtown and available on Friday and Saturday nights, getting people home safely. If we as a community are going to pump millions of dollars into the “T”, lets make it work for a greater good. We can set an example to other city's that we care more about the communitys safety then revenue from DUI's!

1029 6 years ago

Excellent point, flux.They should at least run the smaller vans on routes between downtown and major apartment complexes. I always found it odd that there were no busses running during the times when people are most likely to consider riding a bus. Nobody wants to drive drunk, but sometimes they feel as if that is the only way for them to get home. (I know there are cabs, but that $10 can be pretty valuable at times. Plus, sometimes there is a long wait and I could see how the close quarters of a cab could make some people uncomfortable.) Also, people know that if they leave their car downtown overnight, it is guaranteed that there will be a parking ticket waiting for them when they return to pick it up in the morning.

flux 6 years ago

Thanks! Yes, its sad when you do the right thing, take a cab home, then to be greeted first thing in the morning with a parking ticket on your windshield. Yes, its just 2 dollars but thats not the point.

d_prowess 6 years ago

I would be willing to pay $2.00 any day if it meant I could take the bus home after a night of drinking. That is cheap and money WELL spent!

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years ago

OK; good suggestions.Next step: make the suggestions to the group named in the article where they have some authority to make decisions--not here on the LJWonline forums where none of us get to make those decisions....

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