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Archive for Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bus merger plan on a roll

Sales tax could help support combined city, KU service

June 7, 2008

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The wheels are turning quickly on an idea to merge the city and university's public transit systems, and to approve a new sales tax that would help support the combined service.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday meeting will review a proposed letter of intent that calls for efforts to be made to merge the city and Kansas University bus systems by July 1, 2009.

The proposed letter of intent marks a new high point for the on-again-off-again discussion of merging the two systems, participants said.

"This is probably discussion at the most serious level we've ever had on this subject," said Danny Kaiser, assistant director of transit and parking for KU.

The proposed letter of intent puts a lot of emphasis on the city passing a new sales tax that would provide the bus service with a steady stream of revenue.

"I think a sales tax is essential for this to happen," City Commissioner Rob Chestnut said.

Because of rising fuel costs and aging equipment, the city is facing a $1 million shortfall in its public transit budget for 2009. The proposed letter of intent doesn't mandate a new sales tax. KU leaders seem fine with the city raising the property tax rate to come up with the needed money. A majority of city commissioners, though, have been reluctant to do that. Instead, talk has focused on 0.15 percent sales tax to fund transit.

Kaiser said the university has told the city that KU won't be making up the shortfall.

"Everybody has assured each other that no one is bailing the other one out," Kaiser said.

A merged system could result in better transit service for the community, said Mayor Mike Dever, who has been working directly with KU. Dever said he frequently hears from constituents about routes where a KU bus and a city bus almost follow each other.

"It just makes sense to conserve our resources by not duplicating them," Dever said. "I think we'll be able to serve areas more efficiently and have a lot less waste in the organization."

City commissioner Boog Highberger also said he was hopeful that the combined resources of the systems would give riders more route options.

The university system would bring thousands of potential riders to the table, and also would bring a steady stream of university money into the system. Pending final approval from the Kansas Board of Regents, KU students soon will start paying a $44.90-per-semester transit operations fee, and a $20-per-semester bus replacement fee, Kaiser said.

In November, it could be up to city voters to decide how much they're willing to pay for transit service. Chestnut has proposed a 0.15 percent sales tax to fund the city's transit operations. He's also calling for a 0.35 percent sales tax to fund street and infrastructure projects. He wants the two sales taxes to be voted on separately. Dever and Commissioner Sue Hack also have said they favor separate votes.

Highberger and Commissioner Mike Amyx have said they want a single vote on the two issues. Details such as those, and getting agreement on the exact tax rate, have to be worked out before the issue can be put on the ballot.

But Dever said he hopes commissioners will reach agreement soon. He would like the commission to vote to put the issue on the November ballot within the next two weeks.

The proposed letter of intent does give the city an option to back out of the deal if the sales tax is not approved, and it also gives KU the option to back out of the deal if a newly formed Transit Commission doesn't approve of a merger. The Transit Commission will have strong student representation.

The letter of intent also spells out that the day-to-day operations of the transit service would be governed by a new operating board or organization. The details of that new organization would have to be worked out later, but would include student representation, the letter of intent states.

Comments

Warren6032 6 years, 6 months ago

LoginMan states:And the first time that a KU student can't board a bus to make it to classes on time, due to a full bus that has "a bunch of townies" on it, all heck will break loose.-----------------Warren states: The emptyT never has a bunch of townies on it. But many people depend on a bus to get around town, so I'm for the merger

LogicMan 6 years, 6 months ago

My first reaction is that there are too many conflicts of interest.And the first time that a KU student can't board a bus to make it to classes on time, due to a full bus that has "a bunch of townies" on it, all heck will break loose.But limited interconnects, mainly for the benefit of the KU students, does make sense.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, "As I've said, we should be paying to move empty seats from anywhere to anywhere else, whether it's by plane, train, or bus" obviously should have said "shouldn't be."

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

As I keep saying, you're a dense one, jackie boy. I hope you realize that under Newell's scenario, trains would have ceased to exist as a means of passenger travel decades ago. And that his closing comment on taxi-cabs is precisely the same as what I said about not subsidizing underutilized air, rail, or bus routes. And you're agreeing with him. So I guess that means you're in favor of scrapping the Amtrak subsidies after all, jackie, and letting the trains live or die based solely on the revenue they generate from the passengers who ride. Gee, thought I already said that.The roads aren't subsidized, jackie. I know you're not to clear on concepts like math and business and civics (or even history - what's the matter, jackie, the train couldn't get you to school when you were a child?), but there's a difference between using the tax dollars of the entire population to build and maintain something that every member of that population benefits from and using the tax dollars of every member of the population to build and maintain something that 1% of the population benefits from. Again, sorry you're too limited to understand that rather simple concept.We don't need tolls to pay for the roads, jackie, because we already pay for them in our gasoline taxes, our motor vehicle registrations, our drivers license fees. And yes, through general fund revenue, but that's (again - since you seem too blind to realize it) everyone uses those roads, unlike passenger trains. You want to make all roads toll roads? Fine. Do away with all the other taxes we pay that go towards the roads, including that share of our income and other general revenue taxes. And guess what? The roads will still be there, at least the highways will be, because that would actually save money for the users of the highways. The passenger trains, however, will be long gone. All of them.

Newell_Post 6 years, 6 months ago

Private industry doesn't do everything well. Government really is better at some functions than industry. However, when it comes to fee-for-service activities, with real paying customers, private industry generally does a more efficient job than any government.This problem should be soooo simple to solve. Eliminate both systems and allow a private company, or better yet multiple companies, to operate unsubsidized, for-profit systems. The managers of those systems would very quickly figure out which routes have significant ridership and the fares necessary to justify running those routes. You want a benchmark for this argument? Try the airlines vs. Amtrak. I am a third-generation railroader and I love trains. Quite few times I have checked the price of traveling by train (Amtrak) just for the fun of it, to the cost of flying. I have always been able to find a flight cheaper than Amtrak. And jet airplanes burn a lot more fuel per passenger-mile than trains. Don't even think about the time difference:. The only time the fee-for-service market model fails in situations like this is when there is no competition, no regulation, and one seller obtains a monopoly on vital goods. In Lawrence there is plenty of competition from carpools, bikes, and private cars. If you don't think that is enough, then reasonably regulate the fares so that a private bus company can make a decent profit, but not a windfall.Problem solved with no additional taxes or government burden. Every remote cul-de-sac wouldn't get served, but then we wouldn't be taxing the entire population to serve those areas, either. That's what taxi cabs are for.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 6 months ago

Demand financial statements from the T.And Rob Chestnut, tax increases is not why we supported you.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence needs better public transporation not gone public transporation and have permanent funding not temporary funding. And instead of a sales tax let's encourage creative thinking on how to generate more revenue. A better T is one that comes with more frequent riding opportunities on the more demanding routes. Let's be fiscally responsible. A good public transportation system would be one thing to have in place plus bike trails that ultimately lead to employers. The T and Bike to Work Trails and lanes are a whole lot less expensive than new roads and cost wayyyy less to maintain.So lets's think in terms of reducing traffic congestion and saving tax dollars in the process. Let's be fiscally responsible.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

"What we need" is not to be forced or "required" to do anything just to save a faltering mass transit system (which is a bit of a misnomer in this case) that very few people use and not too many seem to want.

Godot 6 years, 6 months ago

notajayhawk, you are so right. The T should be referred to as a minimal transport system.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 6 months ago

"Tax the folks" This is the idiot commissioner's solution to every one of their hair-brained schemes. Not that we are already taxed to death as it is. To hell with this plan. Make the users pay. But of course, we are already taxed for these damned empty busses, where do you folks think that "Federal money" comes from? Iran, Egypt, Mars, Utopia??? No, it is Tax Money we pay to the Federal Government.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Yawn, notajayhawk no point in discussing it with you, we'll just see how it plays out."As evidenced by this reply and the six that followed over the better part of an hour. I'd hate to see how much jackie enjoys blathering to himself when something is worth discussing."Amtrak ridership is up and it isn't even a complete system."Amtrak ridership didn't have any other direction to go but up, jackie. 'Up,' of course, being a relative term. Did it finally break 1% of long distance travel miles, jackie? And my question (that you ignored) was (let me put it in smaller words for you): Are the fares that the airlines have lost all going to the trains, or are they staying home? And yes, jackie, the rail system isn't a "complete system." I wonder why you always seem to foget that it once was - before people stopped riding the trains."Of course cutting flights to places other people go is fine as long as nota has his flight to NY. I guess us commoners don't need to go anywhere if we aren't willing to travel the way nota has determined for us."[My turn: "yawn"]No, of course you're right, jackie. You have an inalienable god-given right to mass transit that the rest of us have to pay for between Left- and Right Overshoe Nebraska. 99% of the population should be forced to subsidize the trips that the 1% like you want to take. How thoughtless of the overwhelming majority of us to choose to fund the modes and routes of travel that virtually everyone uses and not want to flush money away on the ones that virtually nobody does.And it's not me that's 'determing' that for us, jackie. It's the 99% of the population that chooses not to travel the way you want to determine for the overwhelming majority of us."Yes, I know the numbers aren't as high as airlines and cars but what do you expect from a crippled and incomplete system?"Please get back on your meds, jackie. Or at least let the staff at your old folks home shut off your computer before you embarass yourself any more. The rail system was "crippled" because people stopped riding it, jackie. Not because anyone took it away, but because it was abandoned. Yes, it has had a recent 'resurgence' of sorts, although still not enough to make it economically viable. The same thing happened after 1973, or else the last nail would have been driven into your precious choo-choo's coffin long ago. And when more fuel efficient cars became available, people once again relegated train travel to what it is: A quaint relic of times past, an entertaining adjuct to more popular modes of transportation that has become entirely superfluous in today's world. Maybe if you joined us in the 21st century, jackie, you'd be able to see that.Although I doubt it.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "The largest pork projects are road projects."Pork projects don't usually refer to something that every person in the country uses and benefits from, jackie boy."The train companies can not compete when the government provides all the expenses for roads except for the vehicle."Gee, go figure, yet again another question jackie boy is trying to blow smoke over.Where does the government get their money from, jackie? 'The government' is the taxpayers, jackie. 'The government' is the 99% of the people in this country who don't want to ride your choo-choos. We pay for the roads we use. You don't pay for the trains."Nota, if we had a decent passenger rail system there is no doubt people would use it""No doubt?" "No doubt," jackie? You really are full of 'it' tonight, aren't you? Um, jackie - if there's "no doubt" that people would use the trains if there was a complete system - how do you explain the reality that people stopped using them when we did? Slight gap in what passes for your thought processes there, jackie."and it was workable throughout the entire country it too could be paid for by a ticket tax."Half of every Amtrak fare is paid for by subsidy, jackie. And you want to tax it. Great. So the government will add tax to what they already have to pay for your fare, and pay it themselves? Brilliant."It is obvious now that you have no confidence in the "will" of the people's desire to drive if they paid a toll and the real cost of the road being used is paid for right there and then instead of hiding the cost in all kind of governmental bookkeeping."Learn to read, jackie, you'll make less of a fool of yourself (or at least make a total fool out of yourself less often). I already said I'd be more than willing to pay for the toll on the highways, since I'm already paying for it through my taxes, and if those taxes were unnecessary I'd actually save money. Let's see if you are willing to pay double what you're paying now for train travel - and that's just operating costs, not what it would cost to factor in any expansion of the system."Again speaking for the people."Now you're starting to get a glimmer of reality. That's right, jackie, I am speaking for the people. I am speaking for the 99% of the population who has consistently demonstrated through their choice of elected officials, their votes on bond issues, and their choices for decades of how to spend their travel dollars, that trains were not the way they choose to travel. A choice that they reiterate on a daily basis when they put gas in their almost 250,000,000 registered passenger vehicles and go out and travel over the roads they asked for and paid for.And you're speaking for whom, exactly? The disgruntled former railroad workers of America?

Godot 6 years, 6 months ago

I will vote against both sales tax increases. The T is a failed experiment and the busses should be sold off and the employees laid off to relieve stress on the budget. The additonal tax to repair the streets is not needed; what is needed is to stop funding social projects with money that was collected to repair the streets.There have been at least 4 highly paid professionals added to the city staff in the last few months. The commissioners did not raise taxes when they were hired, so they must have diverted monies from others budgets (say, street repair?) to pay them. More money? NO. My concern is, however, that if the sales tax is not approved, the commissioners (with the expressed encouragement of KU officials) will simply raise the mill levy.The ballot question shoudl not be "shall we raise sales tax by "x" percent," but rather, "shall the city increase taxes, by any means, for these purposes?"

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

By the way, is ridership on the 'T' so awful that they had to go all the way back to winter to find a picture of someone getting on a bus? Or is it only people that wear winter coats in 90 degree weather that use the 'T'?

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "But the free market isn't at work nota, not when the government has to be involved to keep the system as is going."Are you that dense, jackie? (Save your breath - it was a rhetorical question.) We ARE the government, jackie. See, except in your delusional world, it isn't very practical for people to build individual pieces of roads to where they want to go, so we vote for elected officials and we pass referendums to have that government build the roads that 99% of us want and use every day."So I'm confused, you don't want democracy? Pegging me as a liar again because you have to add so much color to your discussion doesn't work since it won the vote."Finally! That's the first accurate statement you've made all day! You certainly ARE confused!Mr. Chastain's proposal (since you evidently are woefully misinformed, and probably deliberately omitting details to do your usual blowing smoke to obscure the issue), his seventh in nine years, also included the gondola ride over Penn Valley Park, something that would be about as useful as trains in Kansas City. Democracy, jackie? It's "democracy" when 10% of the population can force the rest of the citizenry to pay for a moronic pipedream that shouldn't have even made it to the ballot, that didn't include any feasibility or engineering studies, any cost estimates, let alone a way to fund those estimates? That's what you call "democracy," jackie?(continued)

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

(continued)"If you comprehended the stories airline companies are suffering and can't afford to fly empty seats anymore."And if you could comprehend anything at above a first-grade reading level, jackie, you'd understand that the airlines no longer being able to afford to "fly empty seats" is in no way inconsistent with my opposition to wasting money on trains or buses. I'm not in favor of subsidizing roads nobody drives on, airplanes flying with empty seats, or train routes that carry a handful of people a day. However, since the overwhelming majority of people choose to use the major highways and larger-market airports, yes, it does make sense to spend their tax money to support that infrastructure."I know you feel it is your right not to think about the future"As opposed to the guy who argues so vehemently for a return to the past.The future should be something people want, jackie, not something you say we can have. The future should expand our possibilities, not restrict them. Our hopes and plans for the future should include finding ways to preserve the personal freedom, flexibility, and convenience that we have developed over the past century, not surrendering all that in whole or part because you can only see the old ways through your blinders. And no matter how many ways you try to spin it, no matter how many times you think you can blow smoke and obscure the facts, neither trains nor buses will never give people the freedom, flexibility, and convenience of cars and planes. By their very nature they are incapable of doing so."I'm not sure considering how overextended the US is now to let the greedy spoiled crowd continue to dictate the future transportation issues."So we should let a deluded old man who yearns for his old job on the railroad dictate his rules to the 99% of us who don't want that way of life. Brilliant as always, jackie.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "No, this is true, we can go ahead just like we did when the people decided they were going to drive full size suv's because it was their right and now they are graveling for the government to do whatever it takes to make gas cheap and switching to small cars as the sales of suv's show."Really, jackie? Strange, but it doesn't seem to be the folks with the SUV's doing all the whining, it's people like you.And yes, jackie, it IS our right. I own two cars and I can afford the gas to drive them. I'm not apologizing for that and I'm sure as heck not going to ask for your permission to drive my own vehicle where I want to go when I want to go there. And I don't need any socialist whiner telling me I have to ride the bus.Maybe you haven't realized that the message boards you're posting to are located in the United States, not a socialist country (I know that's hard to remember in Lawrence). What that means, jackie, is individuals are entitled to the fruits of their labor, not what the state decides to allot them. That doesn't just mean the physical product I make with my hands, jackie, it means whatever lifestyle I can afford with the paycheck I earn. And I'll keep on making my 550 mile per week commute well past $7/gallon, because you don't have any "right" to tell me where I have to live and/or work.By the way, jackie, how are your choo-choos doing? All those people who aren't flying been flocking to the rails, forcing Amtrak to add more trains and routes all over the country? What? No? How can that be? The airlines will be just fine, jackie. Are the ones who were already struggling going under? Yep. Are routes that were underutilized and unprofitable being curtailed? Yep. Which is just fine by me, because I'm not in favor of subsidizing air travel between Left Overshoe Nebraska and Right Overshoe Nebraska any more than I'm in favor of subsidizing any other mode of transportation that nobody uses - you know, like trains (or buses). I don't think we're in any danger of air travel between Kansas City and New York becoming unavailable any time soon (that an incredibly huge percentage of travelers choose over the same trip by train), and unless you're off your meds again, jackie, neither should you.

Newell_Post 6 years, 6 months ago

Just a point of information about Amtrak:.They have done studies over the years showing that they could break even or make an unsubsidized profit if they were allowed to run the routes where adequate ridership exists. However, those routes are entirely on the Eastern seaboard. Amtrak could break even running Boston New York Philadelphia Baltimore DC (maybe) Atlanta and (maybe) Chicago. Every time Congress threatens to cut Amtrak's subsidy, Amtrak says "OK, fine. We'll cut out everything except the Eastern seaboard." Then all of the senators and congressmen from the rest of the country jump in and demand service to their states. And Amtrak says "OK. You choose. If you want service to all states, then provide the subsidy." Guess what? They come with the subsidy. It's pork, not transportation.

denak 6 years, 6 months ago

I have lived in this town since 1995 and all I have to say is it is about time these two bus systems merged. It never made sense to me why there shouldn't be two. It is a huge waste of money to have two.For those routes that have a lot of students, have more busses or more pick up times, that way the students can get to class on time (or god forbid, wake up early so that this won't be a problem) and the townies (who are mostly former students anyway) won't have to hastle over seats.Dena

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Subsidy or pork barrel spending - a rose by any other name.It's still a waste of money for something people don't want to use.

alm77 6 years, 6 months ago

Warren, you've obviously never been on the 6 between 7-8 am or 5-6 pm. Last time I rode the T, it was FULL of teenagers. Standing room only.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

(continued)And I have no problem if people want to travel from Left Overshoe to Right Overshoe, jackie. And I have no problem if you want to ride your choo-choo. Pay for it yourself, the way the rest of us do. And before you come back with the tired old lie that the government pays for the roads and airports, jackie, the government doesn't pay for squat - the taxes collected from those people who are using those roads and those airports pay for them. The amount we pay, per person who uses them, for train and bus travel is higher than the amount we pay, per person who uses them, for roads and airports. You want a level playing field? Fine. Allocate the tax expenditures according to how many people make use of the trains and buses, no more, no less. And we'll see which modes of travel survive."There is a place for all three. Since the other two are maxed out already and adding more only creates more problems that is why the third option is the magic number."Fine. As I just said, let the people who favor the third option find a way to pay for it, the way those who favor the first two options pay for their own. (Incidentally, jackie, three times as many people do their long distance traveling on intercity buses as on trains, so technically your choice is the fourth option - and even buses need roads.) And we're hardly "maxed out," jackie. By that logic, Kansas City should be the last place in the country that needs a rail system, since the KC metro has more miles of roads per capita than any other city in the country, and one of the least congested commutes of any major urban area.I have to admit, jackie, I'm surprised you're even posting today. Thomas the Tank Engine is at the Midland in Baldwin - you could have fun riding your choo-choo, and even pretend you're on the island of Sodor, where trains are "really useful!"

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, jackie-boy, as much fun as this has been, some of us have jobs to get to. It's been a real pleasure watching you make an utter jack___ out of yourself, and as much as I respect your desire to be a card-carrying socialist and impose the will of you 1-percenters on the rest of the country, I think I'll pass on the claptrap you're trying to sell - as, luckily, will the overwhelming majority of the rest of the citizens of this country. Enjoy swimming in your bile, jackie, but when you get over your bitterness at having your choo-choos taken away, you're welcome to join us in the 21st century.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Oh again, the argument that is base not on facts but your opinion that life will continue on as it has and we don't need to do anything."You're the one who's ignoring facts and blabbering based on nothing but your opinion, jackie. The facts are that nobody rides the trains. Even with the recent 'resurgence,' it's only people that are being forced to travel that way, not people who want to, and you only have to look at fairly recent history (like 1973) to see that and to see that it's temporary. Yes, jackie, we need to do something, and we are - we're developing cars that are less dependent on oil and developing alternative fuels for airplanes. We (and by "we" I mean the overwhelming majority of Americans, jackie, not the 1-percenters like you) are not flocking to mass transit because a few delusional crackpots like you think we should be forced to."Obviously the fact SUV are no longer being bought in the numbers they were and train travel, on a very pathetic system as it is today can't be interpreted as possibly people wanting more."What was that, jackie? Why, it almost sounds as if you're saying let the free market decide! (It has, by the way - and trains lose.)"KC voted for light rail so the gosh, a turn out the poll in favor shows, in that case, that more want it and it isn't just me thinking it is what we should look at but a whole bunch of people."Once again you are either pathetically uninformed or lying - your history of posts makes that a toss-up, although they're not mutually exclusive possibilities. Somehow it must have escaped your notice, jackie, that the vote for Mr. Chastain's crackpot idea (which was approved by the votes of barely more than 10% of the population) was invalidated because it wasn't feasible, not to mention that it would have gutted the remnants of KC's existing transit system by stealing the funding from the bus system. And the new proposal, whose passage is in doubt, would serve almost nobody, and be little more than a connector between bus routes. But don't let the facts color your opinion, jackie - you're so entertaining in your delusions.By the way, jackie, if you want facts, you might look at polls on the number of people who are in favor of having trains versus the number who actually ride them. While polls consistently show a fair number of voters approve of having trains, that number far exceeds the infinitesimal number who would make use of them.(continued)

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

(continued)The Kansas City council rightly invalidated the vote because it didn't include those things. Maybe we could get 10% of the voters to approve a rocket facility for daily non-stop trips to Pluto, too, jackie, that doesn't make it possible. And they didn't entirely scrap the idea, either (since you apparently aren't up on the news). The city did what Mr. Chastain failed to do and actually studied the issue, polling the population and undertaking cost studies, and it's up for a new vote in August. At least now the voters will be able to decide based on facts (such as the 1.2 billion dollar cost), not on the snake-oil and pipedreams being slung at them by people like Mr. Chastain (and you)."That's a real switch up but logical in your way of thinking as long as the government builds what you want it is free enterprise."What 99% of the population wants, jackie. Why can't you acknowledge that simple fact just once? You pretend I'm an isolated person imposing my will on the populace (when that's exactly what you are and what you're trying to do), jackie. You give me too much credit. I wouldn't be able to decide where the tax dollars get spent without the support of the rather huge majority who thinks like I do, not dreams like you do."The plan is being modified to make it regional rather then the limited version of Chaistain."Again either uninformed or lying. The plan up for a vote is for the KC-only starter line, although the polls said that was the proposal favored by very few people (again your version of "democracy") - maybe because they don't want to spend 1.2 billion dollars unless some of the surrounding areas commit to sharing the bill?"The empty seats in the train are a lot cheaper then they are for airlines."I thought you were into 'facts,' jackie. Can you show me some numbers that say that the government spends more on flying empty seats from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth than they spend on the Heartland Flyer, for instance?And it really doesn't matter which is more expensive, except in your sadly twisted logic, jackie. As I've said, we should be paying to move empty seats from anywhere to anywhere else, whether it's by plane, train, or bus.(continued)

sjschlag 6 years, 6 months ago

Now is the time to be investing in this service, not cutting it. The T service needs to be expanded, made more frequent and more convenient, and you will see ridership grow. With gas hovering at $4 a gallon, many people are looking for an alternative to a car, such as biking, or mass transportation. The cost savings for everyone are much greater when a service like this is in place and they use it. Merging with the KU bus system is a great way for the T to expand service, and hopefully make it more frequent. Nobody should have to wait 40 minutes for the #8 bus, especially since it's so popular. Everyone wonders why the T and mass transport are not being used, and the truth is that the service levels are not frequent enough to attract ridership. Looking at the bus schedule, I'd have to leave my house an hour and 40 minutes before work, just to make it on time. If the buses were more frequent, I could easlily make the trip leaving 40 minutes from my house, or even sooner. Getting there in my car takes 20 minutes, but costs me about $50 a week in gas. Taking the T would cost me about $10. I would like to take advantage of this cost savings, but I can't because the schedule is not convenient. Like I said, make the buses more frequent and on shorter routes, and the T will no longer be the EmpTy.

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