Possible prices for a Lawrence-Med Center ride
Proposed fares for a bus from Kansas University's Lawrence campus to the Medical Center:
¢ $4.50 for a one-way ride if fewer than 10 trips are purchased.
¢ $4 for a one-way ride if 10 or more trips are purchased
¢ $160 to purchase 40 rides (4 weeks of round trips)
Source: KU School of Engineering
Call it a sign of the times.
Kansas University's School of Engineering, department of mechanical engineering and bioengineering graduate program have teamed up to test the waters of a new commuter bus.
The bus trial, which would provide a direct ride from the Lawrence campus to the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., is pending approval from university officials.
Ron Dougherty, chairman of mechanical engineering, helped spearhead the trial. He said the idea for the bus came as the School of Engineering had more and more dealings with the School of Medicine both through research and academics. With more students and faculty commuting and gas prices rising, some raised the idea of a commuter bus similar to the Lawrence-Johnson County K-10 line, which links Lawrence with the Edwards Campus and Johnson County Community College.
Unlike the K-10 bus, which receives federal funding, the bus that Dougherty's department had proposed would have to fund itself. That means a certain amount of riders would have to use it regularly for it to be feasible.
Dougherty said he received verbal approval Wednesday morning that the trial run would go through; however, he warned that nothing was set in stone until he received the official nod.
"We wanted to get the word out so people who might be interested would know it was coming up," he said. "If we waited too long to get the word out, we were afraid no one would know of it."
Dougherty said initial interest had been largely positive.
Sarah Kieweg, assistant professor specializing in biofluids who works with a collaborator in Kansas City, said she would support a regular bus between the two campuses. Not only would a bus allow her to leave her car in Lawrence for her husband to use, she said, but she would also be able to work during the ride.
The trial run would have only one run to and from Kansas City in the morning and one in the evening. Dougherty said they would like to increase the number of busses and runs if the trial proves successful.
The bus is expected to run Sept. 2-26, pending administration approval. Anyone willing to pay the bus fare would be eligible to ride.