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Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2008

T facing fight for survival

Sales tax vote could be one way to save system

May 7, 2008

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City leaders face tough decision on 'The T'

With rising gas prices, the city's bus service - 'The T' - will need an additional one million dollars to operate next year. Enlarge video

It became clearer Tuesday that the city's financially struggling public transit system is in a fight for its survival.

City commissioners at their weekly meeting generally agreed that voter approval of a new sales tax to fund public transportation is the most likely way to save the system, but stopped far short of approving a ballot issue for November and left many key details unanswered.

But just as important, commissioners also started talking about life without a public transit system.

"A vote on the T system, no matter how it is structured, is really an ultimatum vote," City Commissioner Mike Amyx said, meaning that a vote for a sales tax would preserve the T and a vote against a sales tax would lead to its demise.

No commissioner disagreed with that assessment. That's in part because only Commissioner Boog Highberger expressed any interest in raising property taxes - an act that doesn't take voter approval - to save the T. Comments by other commissioners made it clear that a property tax increase is highly unlikely to save the transit system, which is estimated to need an extra $1 million in funding to operate current service levels in 2009.

Amyx actually asked staff members for an estimate of how much money the city would free up for the 2009 budget if public transit operations were discontinued. The answer: About $1.3 million in a budget that is expected to be among the more challenging in recent memory.

"That is a question that has to be asked," Amyx said.

Ultimately, voters may be asked whether they would support a new sales tax to fund public transportation. A proposal by Commissioner Rob Chestnut calls for a 0.15 percent sales tax to fund transit operations. He's also calling for a separate 0.35 percent sales tax to fund street and infrastructure projects. Both sales tax questions would be on the November general election ballot, and both would require a separate vote.

Having separate votes for the sales tax issues was a point of contention among commissioners. Amyx and Highberger both have said they want one vote for both the infrastructure and transit sales tax.

Chestnut and Mayor Mike Dever both said they were still strongly leaning toward a stand-alone vote on the transit service.

"My desire on public transit is to allow the public to identify whether this is a priority," Dever said. "I feel like a direct question will get a direct response."

Commissioners ultimately decided to have staff members prepare a report outlining possible pros and cons related to having the votes combined or separate. Commissioners have until late September to decide whether to put sales tax issues on the November ballot.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Again, please don't offer up my wallet on something that you even admitted was destined to fail, by design, from the start."That argument can be made for at least 50% of the city's budget. Which other items should we also be cutting?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Amyx actually asked staff members for an estimate of how much money the city would free up for the 2009 budget if public transit operations were discontinued. The answer: About $1.3 million in a budget that is expected to be among the more challenging in recent memory."$1.3 million divided by 85,000 residents divided by 365 days equals about 4 cents a day per resident.I say increase that funding to 20 cents a day, and build a system that actually works, rather than one designed to fail.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

There goes Bozo with fuzzy math again. $1.3 million will not sustain the T; to keep it at its current levels will require at least another $1.2 million. The question really should be, how much does it cost per person who uses the T (not counting paratransit because that portion is covered by a Federal grant).Someone posted on another thread that it represents a subsidy of $15 per ride.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Present the measure thus way:Public Transportation Yes or NoSidewalk Rehab Yes or NoStreet Rehab Yes or NoThe economic stimulus portion is not clear enough to warrant support from the public. Commissioners have not proven themselves, either now or in the past, to be able to make the right decisions. In other words there is no hard evidence to support what they think is economic growth. The Chamber of Commerce,city and county commissioners and the planning commissioners simply enjoy spending lots of money without knowing if that spending will actually create economic growth. Sprawl in any form jeopardizes economic growth. Forget round-a-bouts. Use speed bumps which are very effective and much less expensive.

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dano 6 years, 2 months ago

The LJW sub headline represents pro-T bias. "Sales tax vote could be one way to save system." Perhaps LJW, some voters are not trying to "save" (spend a million dollars more than what we spend now) a bus that carries one passenger PER BUS every six minutes.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"There goes Bozo with fuzzy math again. $1.3 million will not sustain the T; to keep it at its current levels will require at least another $1.2 million."OK, say you're right-- then we're up to 8 cents a day. Increase that to 20 cents a day, and we can have a system that actually works, especially if merged with the KU system.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Just why, bozo, should each and every citizen of Lawrence further fund the T? "Because even if you don't personally ride the T, a well-functioning transit system makes the city a better place to live, and even you benefit from that.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

Snogurl, if the entire T is Federally funded, then some Federal funds are being misallocated.

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LogicMan 6 years, 2 months ago

They are at least two separate issues. If by votes, keep them separate.But much better is to do the right thing now, and pare back the T significantly. I'm available, at my regular consulting rates, to do the redesign. :-)

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Eride 6 years, 2 months ago

A city needs proper roads before a bus system. Get rid of the T.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lawrence will probably never have a well-functioning (viable) public transportation system. At least not until it is part of Topekansas City."I disagree. We all spend way more than 20 cents a day, apiece to build and maintain a road system that primarily benefits the owners of cars (and trucks.) Spending a tiny bit more so that we all have access to a good bus system that would truly benefit everyone, and give everyone access to and use of our very expensive road system seems like a no-brainer to me.

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tvc 6 years, 2 months ago

Record gas prices and we want to cut the T! I think now is the time to invest in the T.

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Compy 6 years, 2 months ago

I love Lawrence, I tend to forget I am in Kansas most of the time, except when I read coments about the T, and realise, there are STILL people who think Cheap Petroleum will last forever (newsflash: your precious car is about to become one big albatross round your neck). Grow out of the high school mindset that "Riding the bus is for children" and smell the rising costs of fuel.Proud to be in the .4 % of Americans who commute to work via bicycle.

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Jeanne Cunningham 6 years, 2 months ago

A bunch (or just one smart) local business should sponsor the bus. They could give passes to riders who shop at their store(s). So, if you ride the bus to their store, it's free.

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justforfun 6 years, 2 months ago

If you combine both sales tax questions as one it will FAIL and there will be no infrastructure increase! Majority of people want to see the T go away. Oh yea and Boog as far as raising property taxes further to support the T go ahead and STICK IT WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE!!!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Even Galante deduced, from the results of the survey that was conducted, that the only way to make the T work would be do increase ridership, "Which exactly why the system needs to be improved. They system was designed to be inadequate for most potential riders, with predictable results.

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Snowgurl0 6 years, 2 months ago

Godot: What do you mean misallocated? Federal funds account for about 50% of operating costs of the funding for the system, and that's being generous. FTA funds are looking grim so I wouldn't count on those for long either. It's always a bad idea to rely on federal funds as the economy rises and falls constantly.

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Snowgurl0 6 years, 2 months ago

It's just a much a black hole as funding road infrastructure. It doesn't make money. We spend billions to fix it only to destroy it. And then, uh oh, concrete prices go up, federal funds have gone belly up, what do we do now? Same situation, tax the local community. I understand the system might be inefficient for some, but why not push for increased services? Yes, that will cost more money, but this is a service that Lawrence CAN improve over time, and will be an asset to the community. Much better investment than encouraging more cars on the road. Because believe it or not, one person per vehicle is extremely inefficient, extremely costly to the environment, infrastructure, and yourselves. And if Lawrence truely is as "progressive" as they seem to think, the citizens will see the insanity of dropping the tranist service.

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nugget 6 years, 2 months ago

Just watched the T lumber noisily around my corner, engine groaning, its size meant to haul dozens of people on a route where there are none. Only problem, it was empty, as usual. Never more than 3-4 people at max, but usually carrying only a salary earning driver.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Just think of the gasoline savings from sitting in traffic on 23rd st everyday. And integrate the KU bus line into it of course.

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Snowgurl0 6 years, 2 months ago

Getting rid of the "T" would be the worst decision Lawrence residents could make. For starters, the Highway Trust Fund is going bankrupt this year. That means, no federal money for roads/bridges. That means, local funds will be sought after, so you need to be prepared to take that money from somewhere. You're also dealing with high gas prices, and they're not going down. They never will. Is Lawrence REALLY willing to cut off the lifeline that is the "T?" Think about other people besides youself and understand that many people use the T to get around town. 1/3 of residents can't drive so how are they going to get around? Someday when you're too old or can't afford to drive, or just flat out don't want to drive, public transportation will be there. New Flash: Public transportation is the way of the future. Do you really think the economy can afford to pour money into the "black hole" of roads and bridges while the population continues to rise? You can only add so many lanes to a road and highway. When are we going to say enough already?!

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Snowgurl0 6 years, 2 months ago

You said it Bozo! Another point to consider: There has been much talk about another gas tax. It's inevitable there will be the tax, it's just a matter of when. So not only will you be paying the 4.00/gal gas, but the increase tax on that, car payments, insurance payments, maintenance, etc. The list goes on and on. And we think a slight increase in transit funds is ridiculous?! If poor service is the problem, fight for that instead of getting rid of it. A lot of folks can't afford the nonsense that goes into vehicles. 40.00 a month gets you unlimited rides around Lawrence. Can't beat that! I'm willing to bet that most of the negative supporters have never actually ridden the bus.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

Even Galante deduced, from the results of the survey that was conducted, that the only way to make the T work would be do increase ridership, and that, apparently, people in Lawrence value their time too much too waste it by riding the T. No matter how much money you throw at the T, it will never gain the ridership necessary to make it viable.

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Snowgurl0 6 years, 2 months ago

Godot:The entire T fleet is federally funded not just the paratransit.A side note: public transportation will never be a money making venture, although I would like to see ridership increase...

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SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 2 months ago

Vote NO on the utterly disgraceful waste of tax payer dollars known as the T. Because I care about Lawrence and its residents, I will be telling everyone I know to vote against further funding of the T.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

Record gas prices are precisely the reason to cut the T. Why? Because the operation costs double, at a minimum, while the ridership remains the same. People are not going to waste hours of their time to ride the T when they could walk or ride a bike to their destination in less time.

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Daytrader23 6 years, 2 months ago

Why don't you send the planner to Switzerland so he/she can learn how public transport is supposed to work. Also having bus only lanes would help by creating such a traffic problem that most people would rather do the park-n-ride option then try to drive through town. Raise parking fees. Create bike lanes. It works in almost every other city in the world. Lawrence won't figure that out for another 20 years though.

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Ragingbear 6 years, 2 months ago

Just don't build 2 roundabouts. Problem solved. Those things cost a half million a pop.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

I've recently ridden the T when the regular larger bus was out of service, and one of the smaller buses they use for paratransit (and like the original smaller ones) was used. Both times, every one of the 10 or so seats was taken for nearly the entire length of my trip.If we want to make the T work, we don't need smaller buses or fewer of them. We need more buses, better routing, and a complete merger with the KU bus system.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Samething in Topeka. Downtown in some areas, you can still see where there were or are still rails in the middle of brick streets.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

You would need to have some bus feeder lines in some areas. fueled of course by bio-mas fuels, it's green, sustanable, and whole areas of downtowns would smell like french fries, which would make people hungry, and they would buy a meal and pay more taxes to it...LOL

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Daytrader23 6 years, 2 months ago

WOW, in my first post I said it would take Lawrence 20 years to figure this transit system out. After reading some comments I can clearly see it will take THE PEOPLE of Lawrence 20 years to figure it out. Progressive? Lawrence?Compared to what? Some red neck trailer park out in the sticks?

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Okay, stay with me now, this will be expensive. I think we should build a light rail system that stretches from Manhattan Ks. to Odessa Mo. It would also encompass Topeka, Lawrence Eudora. The KC metro area, you would run it into shawnee and Overland Park to Olatha, then up to downtown KC, and out to the sports complex. Then on out to about Odessa and back. Think of the ridership! Admittedly light in some areas, but heavy in others. All stops are "park and ride." You could commut from Lawrence to your jobs in Topeka and KC. Think of the tracffic on K-10 daily. You could use it if you lived in Overland park and worked in downtown KC. Chiefs games KU games, KSU games. Students migrating from Topeka to KU and KSU Make it high speed. Run a spur up to KCI.Massisvely expensive? you bet. But it would have the numbers to pay off.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

Snowgurl0 (Anonymous) says: "If you look at the 2007 report, the T provided 388,325 one-way trips, that doesn't include the paratransit service. And the ridership has consistently gone up. So anyone who believes that no one rides the T is mistaken."388,325 riders per year divided by 365 days is 1064 riders a day, 1064 riders per day divided by 7 routes (7 and 8 are split routes) and that is 151 riders per route per day, 151 riders per route per day divided by 21 scheduled buses per route per day and we get a whopping 7.25 riders per day per route per scheduled bus. I call that virtually "empTy" and a waste of 2.5 million dollars every year in corporate welfare for MV Transportation. Let s not even begin to talk about the polution and the waste of fossil fuels. As godot points out each ride costs taxpayers $7.00 and the rider less than a dollar. It is obvious, even at a bargain prices of less than a dollar for something that costs $8.00 to provide that virtually nobody values the bus as a transportation option in Lawrence, KS. We could be paying the first $5.00 of a cab fare for each of them and it would give them better service and cost us $700,000 less per year. Not to mention being easier on the environment.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey Bozo, thanks for responding... I didn't know that and I consider myself somewhat of a history buff. But look. What would you say the population of the all of these areas. KC metro: 2milllion. Topeka metro. 200,000 Manhattan 60,000 Lawrence 100,000 ? you tell me. total at least 2.4 million folks. That's two states =four senators, and a bunch of Congressmen. Federal help, gasoline tax, 2.4 mill in tax mill levys Tickets and permits to ride. Money from a parking tax in all of these towns. That's a lot of money, and when you stretch it out over fifty yrs or so and the use of bonds. and what alll . I think it is totally doable.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

In the early 20th century, there used be just such a system, TopJayhawk, and it was quite successful, using more primitive technology serving a population that was considerably less dense. It could work again, if we want it, too.But too many of us want to remain hermetically sealed in our private cars, going ever further in hock to the Chinese, and fighting wars over oil to keep the oil supply flowing.

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classclown 6 years, 2 months ago

Tie the bus system in with the SLT 32nd street route. "Impose "x" amount of sales tax to fund the city bus system and the building of the SLT along the 32nd street route"YeaNayAll or nothing. Could prove interesting.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

A bigger system such as I propose would not be a fix all for everyone. But it could certainly make a dent in the traffic, the need for bigger and more roads, and the need to repair as often. It would lower demand for gas in the area, could put downward pressure on gasoline, and help with our dependence of foreign oil.. If you are trying to think how to fix things in the future, you might as well think big.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

I think your population estimate is pretty close.-- probably pushing 3 million if you go into Missouri a ways.Yes, it could happen. And if we had the share of the Iraq war debt of those 3 million people, we'd have been a long ways towards paying for it.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

classclown (Anonymous) says: "Tie the bus system in with the SLT 32nd street route. Impose "x" amount of sales tax to fund the city bus system and the building of the SLT along the 32nd street route"Spoken like a person who knows the "empTy" could never stand alone and that the SLT is very popular. BTW, nobody is or should be talking about getting rid of the paratransit service that the city receives federal funds for and ends up wasting on the "empTy."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

20 cents a day would do wonders, Sigmund, and would bankrupt no one. Those who would find it hardest to pay that 20 cents are the ones who need the T the most. For everyone else, reluctance to pay is nothing but a sign of sheer pettiness.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

I think you would have to make if practicle for use. Eg. Trains every 10-15 minutes. Limited stops for time pruposes. Route it to go by Universities, major employment centers Sprint Center and sports complex in KC. Shopping areas like the plaza and Legends. etc. It would be high speed technology. You could get Federal Money. a small gas tax in all usage areas. raise parking fees at all parking lots and garages in all areas. put a 10% surcharge on all sporting, theatrical, and concert tickets. And even all of our percious tshirts that we buy KU, KSU Chiefs, whatever. I know this will cost upwards of a Billion dollars, but that is spread over years of usag.And if daytrader23 has a better way, I'm all ears.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Remember, the concept of self-actualization as written by Dr. Maslow, happens at differant levels for differant people. It is a sign of elitest insecurity to judge someone by the automobile, or the bicycle that they drive.

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Stain 6 years, 2 months ago

Rising fuel prices make public transportation more important than ever. It is unbelievable how short-sighted this city commission is. Spend years to build up the T, and after success that other municipalities are jealous of, shut it down because they would rather support developers.

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usesomesense 6 years, 2 months ago

The 'MT' as we have always called it had some poor decisions made early on.When the 'T' was first started it was all small buses - probably less than half the size of the giant 'Metropolitan Transit' style buses we have now. Those buses were on order and the small ones were just 'temporary'.These smaller buses would have likely been far more than adequate as well as far more fuel efficient.Secondly, it was decided that the 'T' would not have any paid advertisements on them. Now, I'm not a big fan of billboards, but we have to be practical here. If we have 20 buses with 3 signs apiece on them for say $300 a month each that comes out to $216,000 a year.If bus services were coordinated with KU - and KU eliminated most on campus parking except for staff and service personnel and used the bus system as campus shuttles those costs could be shared and campus could have far better traffic control (pedestrian traffic included).The reality is that public transportation is a great thing - but it has to be practical for everyone. Rising fuel costs should effect 'T' riders - and fees should reflect that. It doesn't make the 'T' any less of a bargain (except compared to walking or riding your bike). Routes have to be evaluated - I work in the Northwest part of town and the 'MT' stops there several times a day and nobody gets on or off except the driver to take a pee.There is no reason to maintain the 'T' at it's current level of service. We need fewer, smaller buses, higher fees for riders and advertising to offset operating costs.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

2.8 million divided by 388,325: that is $7.21 per one way. Raise the cost of a ride to $7.00. Still cheaper than owning a car.

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

You could extend the track a mere fifteen miles from Manhattan, you would take in Junction City and Ft Riley. theres another 100,000, and growing.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

If buses are so useful how come the City maintains a fleet of private vehicles for city employees? Becasue just like the vast majority of Lawrencian's (99.9%), the "empTy" is a huge waste of time and driving a car is much more cost effective, productive, and dependable. As a bonus modern cars with a single rider are better for the environment than "empTy" unless the buses are close to full, which I have never personally witnessed, because late mdoel cars use less fossil fuel per passenger mile than "empTy" buses. The only good thing I can say about the "empTy" is that they don't use ethanol and therefore are not personally responsible for starving a third world nation.Keeping wasting money $2.5 million annually on the "empTy" and Lawrence could soon follow Vallejo, CA and our ex major-slash-gorcery clerk into bankruptcy.http://www.nbc11.com/politics/16185467/detail.html"Vallejo Votes For Bankruptcy""The city faces a $16 million deficit in the 2008-2009 budget starting July 1 and unsuccessfully negotiated with its police, firefighter and electrical workers unions for contract concessions through 2012. Public safety salaries comprise 74 percent of the city's general fund budget."

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vega 6 years, 2 months ago

Car owners should pay for the Lawrence roads repair, tax each car owned according to its size (SUVs and trucks more than smaller cars), not the pedestrians and bike riders. As for the T: great idea but some routes are not quite logical and some schedules are bad (especially no.8), Yes they are empty sometimes, but in the morning and evening peak hours that is not so, so they should operate in greater frequency during the rush hours (every 10 min.) and less often in between, etc. I am thinking of using it on a more regular basis after filling 2/3 of my tank for $40 today. And what about schoollkids and old people who CANNOT drive yet or anymore. What about the families that I know who have 1 car, both parents working and one of them HAS to use T to get to their job. I am not talking about homeless people here.Lawrence even had street cars once upon a time, and some very old people told me you also could hop on the train and get to Topeka or KC in a short time. What was wrong with that? "Sunday,September 19, 1909, the electric streetcars made their debut in Lawrence. The Journal / World wrote: "A crowd of several hundred people "yelled and cheered themselves hoarse" as they watched the first electric streetcars jolt south on Massachusetts Street." The event was billed as being "the beginning of a new and greater town." The first run took its passengers from 7th and Massachusetts Street to about where 24th Street is today. There was a loop for the car to turn around and head back. By 1910, three routes carried riders to almost every corner of town. Three cars traveled the main line, which covered Massachusetts Street and took passengers to East Lawrence. Two cars made a run to Kansas University, which started at 8th and Massachusetts, went around campus and return by way of Tennessee Street. One car traveled to 4th and Indiana and back the same way.By 1916, the line had been extended into North Lawrence. The townspeople came to depend upon the trolley for transportation. However, they also became a source of summer fun. On hot evenings people would ride them to take advantage of the cool breeze coming in the open cars. Elfrede Fischer Rowe remembered: "There was always a breeze on the hill and when the car left the Robinson Gymnasium switchover and headed south, you coasted along with what seemed like wild abandon.""http://history.lawrence.com/res/resource/144

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usesomesense 6 years, 2 months ago

"We could be paying the first $5.00 of a cab fare for each of them and it would give them better service and cost us $700,000 less per year. Not to mention being easier on the environment"This is a very interesting statement.I wonder what the ridership level really is and the cost associated.I wonder if the Federal funds could be used with a subsidized taxi system (as public transit) - even as an ancillary service.Basic bus routes could be used in the areas of highest volume (if there are any). If you're destination was more remote you would take the bus to the taxi terminal and be carted off to where you needed to go.The current reality is that the 'T' is probably creating far more pollution and using far more fuel than it is saving.

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Snowgurl0 6 years, 2 months ago

none2 is right: with so many sprawling communities, it does make it difficult to have an efficient transportation system. If you look at the 2007 report, the T provided 388,325 one-way trips, that doesn't include the paratransit service. And the ridership has consistently gone up. So anyone who believes that no one rides the T is mistaken.http://www.lawrencetransit.org/news/docs/TransitAnnualReport2007_web.pdfAll of these reports are public so it wouldn't hurt to do a little reading before deciding that it's a waste of money and no one rides it. How does anyone even know that it's not being ridden? By driving by and glancing in the window? Gimme a break!

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "20 cents a day would do wonders, Sigmund, and would bankrupt no one."Lets do that math. 20 cents a day is $14.60 per year per person. $14.60 per year from 80,000 residents is $1,168,000 per year. Taking $1,168,000 out of the local economy by increasing taxes will probably not bankrupt anyone (assuming a camel with unlimited strength and a limited amount of straw), but still it is throwing good money after bad and at least when we spend that $1,168,000 with local businesses downtown we get something of equal value in return for our money. But cities, like ex mayors, can and do go bankrupt if they continue to waste their limited resources. The "empTy" is a economic drag on both the City of Lawrence and the private economy year after year after year and there are other priorities for this City. The "empTy" is already a huge bargain for the riders and still it is barely used. When you have a bargain like this ($8.00 in value for less than a buck) and still is so relatively ignored there is only one conclusion, there isn't enough demand to continue offering at the current cost structure. In fact I believe that if you offered it for free and it would barely increase current ridership. It just isn't useful to a shockingly large number of citizens no matter how cheap it gets. We have other uses for that money that more people find of greater value, make your own list. But if you still feel strongly that the demand is there, then get that additional $1,168,000 from the 388,325 riders by raising the fare by $3.00 per ride. It would still be a bargain and have no impact on the City budget nor on local businesses. If MV Transportation can design a system that can support that fare increase I'll support our current level of funding.

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bunnyhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

With current energy concerns, how can we not be scrambling to fund public transportation????? Cuz we're all whores to the oil companies and the auto manufacturers! Wake up!!!!!

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says:"If we want to make the T work, we don't need smaller buses or fewer of them. We need more buses, better routing, and a complete merger with the KU bus system."Typical Bozo, more and bigger of what already has already failed is the answer with absolutely no idea of where the money will come from. With the "more and bigger" option what would Bozo cut and who would he tax? You want "more and bigger," fine then cut all the city departments budgets across the board and layoff employees (excepting police, fire, and other first responders) and I will consider the plan. But every dollar of increased taxes is a dollar less in the local economy to spend at the local businesses you supposedly support. Raising taxes in a flat economy is disastrous at the very least. Ask your buddy the ex-mayor and now bankrupt grocery clerk about fiscal discipline. If he has learned anything he will tell you with fiscal discipline is better to impose it on yourself than have it imposed on you by your creditors.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Rather it is a matter of looking down at people who are still drinking off the tit of the government and others because they have no ambition to get off their behinds and become productive members of society. They would rather tax everybody else to bring others down to their lazy level, rather than contribute to the community."So, what percentage of the population do your strawmen constitute?

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

Stain (Anonymous) says: "If the city commissioners had any clue how many junior high and high school students use the bus to travel around town and spend money in the shops and cafes and theatres:"Enough to justify $2,600,000 per year, year after year? My guess all those kids with all that money have alternative ways to get around.Stain (Anonymous) says: "This city commission has surpassed all my expectations for being short-sighted and pandering to a handful of people."Like the 7.25 people on who ride the average bus? Those handfull of people??Stain (Anonymous) says: "They seem to have plenty of money to support turning Lawrence into another Olathe, in other words destroying this Athens of the Midwest."JoCo has a bus system yet you still despise them? Exactly how much money does Athens waste per year on empty buses?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

You know the old expression-- if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.Similarly, the only transportation tools we have available are the extremely resource and energy intensive car/truck/roadway and airway systems and the industries that have been designed around them. So it's not surprising that many can't see anything but the "nails" they keep hammering away at.

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Stain 6 years, 2 months ago

If the city commissioners had any clue how many junior high and high school students use the bus to travel around town and spend money in the shops and cafes and theatres...This city commission has surpassed all my expectations for being short-sighted and pandering to a handful of people.They seem to have plenty of money to support turning Lawrence into another Olathe, in other words destroying this Athens of the Midwest.

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