Ridership on the shuttle service between Lawrence and Johnson County continues to climb.
Johnson County Transit's K-10 Connector bus system set new records during January and February, reflecting an increased interest in the area's public transit.
"It has been a great service, and we're having much success with it," said Alice Amrein, transportation director for Johnson County Transit.
The Kansas Highway 10 bus service began in January 2007 and, in less than a month, was serving about 225 riders daily. This year, there have been days that more than 600 people board the shuttle. On an average day, 250 to 300 riders get on the K-10 Connector, Amrein said.
Kansas University helps serve these riders with two bus stops in Lawrence: one at the Park and Ride parking lot at Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive, and the other south of campus at 19th Street and Naismith Drive.
Danny Kaiser, assistant director of parking and transit, estimated that 200 of the daily 1,800 Park and Ride bus passengers came from the K-10 service. Most of them will then use the Park and Ride express into the main campus.
Caleb Quaye, a regular rider on the Connector, lives in Lawrence but commutes to classes at Johnson County Community College.
He's studying pharmacy and wants to transfer college credits to KU.
"It's cheaper that way," he said.
Originally from Accra, Ghana, Quaye said the bus system was "way better" than the buses from his homeland.
His only challenge is waking up early enough to catch the 7:40 a.m. bus at 19th and Naismith. The service's peak use times occur in the early morning and evening, with some rides offering standing room only.
Any ideas for further improvement?
"They could always put computers on the bus," Quaye said with a smile. "No, I'm kidding."
Johnson County Transit, however, is taking such suggestions seriously. The organization is considering a pilot project to install not computers, but the next best option - a wireless Internet connection.
Amrein said Johnson County Transit sends e-mail service updates to K-10 riders. If people wish to be included on the list, they can e-mail Cris Gault at email@example.com.