Letters to the Editor

Bus ideas

May 23, 2008


To the editor:

I would like to expand on Dr. Bill Campbell's comments (Journal-World, May 20) regarding the future of the T. He addresses the issue of alternative fuels for our buses and the general benefit to a city of this size to attract both business and population.

In all I have read, a few glaring points have been overlooked. Our bus system is consistently seen as a transportation mode for the poor, the elderly and the disabled. I would venture to say that most cities' transportation systems are for the people who commute on a regular basis to work and school. I have yet to hear of any Lawrence businesses that provided discounted bus passes to their employees or of any programs by our two high schools that discourage students from driving to school and encourage taking the bus, and I have yet to hear of any city/county/state/federal offices in our city that encourage bus ridership for these government employees.

I have not seen nor heard of any efforts to increase revenue by offering advertisements both on the inside and outside of the buses or any networking with other cities to discover what works for their public transportation systems.

Most disappointing is the lack of ridership by people who could easily commute to work on the bus. One could start out slowly, using the bus once a week. Above all remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Melissa Wick,



GIHAWK 9 years, 8 months ago

Enjoy paying for $4 a gallon of gas in your huge SUVs. After all "I'm an American. I can do whatever I want". I am here to live today. Screw the future and my children's lives...

Godot 9 years, 8 months ago

Good point, Andy. The current contract for managing the T runs out in June; how can the City negotiate a new contract now and then put funding for the contract to a vote in November? What contractual penalties will the City face if the voters say no to the funding for the T?

ksdivakat 9 years, 8 months ago

Just one question though, I have heard mroe than once that gad will be 4$ a gallon by this weekend, and then by the end of June it will be 5$ a gallon and by the time school starts it could be 7$ a gallon, they are predicting gas will go to 200$ a barrel by august. If this is indeed true, how will people get to work?? How will people get around?? nobody will drive at 7$ a gallon??? Im just concerned about not being able to get to work if it goes that high and then no bus system, will cause total chaos.

Bossa_Nova 9 years, 8 months ago

i'm going to buy a rickshaw and peddle around town charging riders $0.25 per mile. after i make enough money i will buy another rickshaw and hire a college kid to work partime. after a few years and success and steady growth and everything is going well, i will probably diversify and branch out into rickshaw pizza and grocery delivery. but please keep this a secret, i dont want anyone to steal my idea.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 years, 8 months ago

All of those wonderful ideas mentioned here haven't been tried, because many leaders in this community want the system to fail.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 9 years, 8 months ago

I was pleased to see a bus full of people riding on K10 between Lawrence and Overland Park. I think bus service between Topeka and Lawrence would be well used.Hey anyone want to go to Wichita for Gay Pride? Kansas Equality Coalition Topeka Chapter is chartering a bus on Saturday the 28th of June. It will be fun, cheap and a green alternative to driving your own car.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org

KsTwister 9 years, 8 months ago

More jobs to increase the "use" of the T? Now that's different.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 9 years, 8 months ago

Correction, the bus trip is on Sunday, June 29th.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org

Ben Henick 9 years, 8 months ago

Reduce the functional cost of a missed return/transfer leg of a bus trip, reduce the need to plan entire afternoons around the availability of the T, and you increase the attractiveness of using the system....And when you look at systems (or parts of systems) that have high ridership, you notice that they all have one characteristic in common: frequencies of 5-10x per hour during regular service.10x per hour, you read that right... at peak hours on rail systems in and around large cities. I won't pretend that such a thing will EVER be possible in Lawrence, barring the extraordinary.Find a way to increase frequency, and things will start to come together.Creating incentives for employers who take the T schedule into account (at least for Mon-Sat daytime shifts) in writing their employee schedules is a long shot, but might have measurable results.If gas prices continue on a hyperbolic arc, the authorities will be FORCED to encourage mixed-use development in areas that at present are uniformly zoned for residences across entire quarter sections; when that moment comes, it will be politically and fiscally painful. I am quite certain that at least two of the sitting city commissioners are more aware of this dynamic than I could ever hope to be.In closing, here's something to read that goes a long way toward explaining how we got into this mess, even if it is dated:http://www.rapidtransit.com/net/thirdrail/9905/agt1.htm

May Soo 9 years, 8 months ago

Newell_Post (Anonymous) says:Kill the T. Bring back the Lawrence Bus Company.---------------------------Agree. I used to work for the LBC as a safe ride driver and a regular rider on the buses. I can tell you, rarely see only one or two riders on it. It was just packed with people.

Godot 9 years, 8 months ago

bowhunter, I did a search and did not find the article to which you refer. Please provide a link.

Tom McCune 9 years, 8 months ago

Kill the T. Bring back the Lawrence Bus Company.

Ben Henick 9 years, 8 months ago

I'm writing to offer a few thoughts from someone who's gotten good use out of public transportation for most of his adult life...The issue EVERYONE seems to be ignoring is one of frequency: several T lines have frequencies of 80 minutes, which is acceptable for rides to and/or from a job for an understanding employer. ...There aren't really many of those.For any other kind of travel the T is functionally useless, since most trips can be accomplished with less hassle by walking, driving, or being a passenger in someone else's vehicle. Believe me - planning an excursion so that you don't miss your return ride is a task with a high cost of failure.Further complicating the problem is that while frequencies constitute the T's most significant challenge, that challenge is also the most insoluble: more runs mean more drivers, more dispatchers, more buses, more fuel, and more money - money that's nowhere to be found short of a Federal grant.Another challenge is an artifact of generations of land-use policy. In Lawrence you have several loci of commercial activity: Downtown, 23rd (between Iowa and Harper), S. Iowa, W. 6th, and Kasold immedately north of the turn. Of these, only two (S. Iowa and 23rd between Iowa and Louisiana, with an honorable mention to Downtown) have anything close to an adequate spectrum of goods, services, jobs, and affordable housing within easy walking distance. Anywhere else in Lawrence you might hope to live will REQUIRE some sort of motor transport. The route plan for the T takes this reality into account, but limited resources again hamper the system's effectiveness.Solution-focussed thoughts to follow.

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