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Archive for Thursday, November 20, 2008

Johnson County funds to help improve K-10 Connector service between Lawrence and Overland Park

K-10 route works to ease congestion

Danielle Lefever, a second-year Kansas University law student, from Overland Park, waits for the K-10 Connector bus Wednesday at the KU Park and Ride lot off or Clinton Parkway. Lefever uses the bus regularly and could benefit when the bus system boosts service on the route.

Danielle Lefever, a second-year Kansas University law student, from Overland Park, waits for the K-10 Connector bus Wednesday at the KU Park and Ride lot off or Clinton Parkway. Lefever uses the bus regularly and could benefit when the bus system boosts service on the route.

November 20, 2008

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Lawrence and Douglas County planners are looking for help deciding how to connect with city and county residents when it comes to transportation issues.

To help guide the process, take an online survey.

Written surveys also are available in Lawrence from the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.; City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets; Community Building, 115 W. 11th St.; East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th St.; Lawrence Jewish Community Center, 917 Highland Drive;Outside of Lawrence, written surveys are available from the Baldwin City Public Library, 800 Seventh St.; Eudora Public Library, 14 E. Ninth St.; and Lecompton City Hall, 327 Elmore St.

The deadline for survey responses is Dec. 19.

A commuter bus route between Kansas University and its Edwards Campus in Overland Park will get added service next year as a result of the Johnson County Commission’s decision to spend more money on its transit system.

Earlier this month, Johnson County commissioners approved Johnson County Transit’s emergency funding request for $2.5 million. The funding includes $1.4 million to purchase as many as seven buses and a $1 million transfer from the general fund to add 50 more operating hours a week, aiding the K-10 Connector route between Lawrence and Overland Park.

Alice Amrein, Johnson County Transit transportation director, said the county would expand service on popular routes with the arrival of the seven buses in late January or February.

One of those routes to see new buses is the K-10 Connector between Kansas University and the Edwards Campus.

Another bus would be added to the route during peak morning and evening hours so they departed at the two campuses at half-hour intervals instead of on the hour, Amrein said.

That’s good news for people like Danielle LeFever, a second-year KU law student from Overland Park who rides the route four days a week. She said she has to occasionally stand up for the entire route because of crowded buses.

Donna Hultine, KU director of parking and transit, said that while the university has no direct financial stake in the routes, expanded bus routes would still impact the university.

The K-10 Connector buses drop off students at KU’s Park and Ride lot on West Campus, meaning that more service may require an adjustment in the way KU’s Park and Ride buses operate, Hultine said.

The department would monitor ridership numbers before making any adjustments to service, Hultine said. She said that she was pleased to see an expansion of Johnson County’s commuter line.

“We do hear that it’s filled to capacity at certain times of the day,” she said. “It’s very popular.”

The new buses will not stop in De Soto, Eudora or other communities despite interest in the communities for service. Amrein said. Stops would make the buses slower for riders than driving cars from campus to campus and decrease riders, she said.

Johnson County Transit has been a victim of its recent demand and has lost potential daily commuters because of crowded buses, Amrein said. That was particularly true on the K-10 connector route, she said.

“We’re going to have to do some marketing, especially with the K-10 riders,” she said. “We lost some people because of the waits or because they couldn’t find a seat and were late for class because they had to get to their car. We’re going to have to work a little to get those people back.”

LeFever agreed that the buses had lost riders in recent months.

“The people that stopped riding would probably come back and ride again if they knew they wouldn’t have to stand,” she said.

Lawrence residents approved two sales tax questions Nov. 4 to operate and expand that city’s transit system. Amrein said down the road, Johnson County Transit officials wanted to discuss shelters and other enhancements for the K-10 route with their Lawrence counterparts.

“It’s on the to-do list,” she said. “They have an interim director and have to get their arms around what they have with the tax and how they are going to coordinate with the university.”

Comments

9070811 6 years, 1 month ago

Good job being poor reporters and choosing to exclude the fact that a majority of riders are going to Johnson County Community College. But the urinal world has gotta make KU look good! It wouldn't be right to show that this service was mainly enacted to provide JoCo's students with a carpool to classes.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

Good news for transit, and Lawrence. Ms. Amrein also noted that the system she runs needs adjustments. The person in charge of the T should take responsiblity also, as the T needs major (and I mean major) adjustments.

compmd 6 years, 1 month ago

So at first, Johnson County wants to look like they are providing a wonderful service to the people of Douglas County.Then comes the invasion.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

There are only 2 KC stops, at JCCC and at Edwards. It stands to reason that JoCo students would be a large percentage of riders.This is good to hear. When a bus on the highway is standing room only, you begin to wonder what might happen to those people standing 5 feet from the windshield on the bus doing 70 it was forced to brake suddenly or hit something.

mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

There are KU students, staff and faculty who are able to take advantage of the K-10 Connector. There are also JoCo students who use the system. Does it really matter who takes the bus, as long as they don't have to stand? It can't be safe.

nobody1793 6 years, 1 month ago

No kidding, K-10 is dangerous enough sitting down with a seat belt and air bags...

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years, 1 month ago

9070811, how do you know that "...a majority of riders are going to Johnson County Community College"? I don't know whether it is or is not true; I'm curious where your data comes from?

mightyquin 6 years, 1 month ago

lawrenceguy40, I am not a liberal but I support public transport because it is just good common sense. Something you right wingers seem in short supply of.

9070811 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, for one, I take the bus. So I see all of us get off and on the bus at various times of the day.

9070811 6 years, 1 month ago

Also, thinking about this, I would make an educated estimate that riders are about 3/4 JCCC users and about 1/4 KU Edwards users.

roger_o_thornhill 6 years, 1 month ago

yeah, lawrenceguy's comments are kinda nutty. All part of a left-wing conspiracy to get people to go to school. Or is it a conspiracy by the left to get people to go to the decidedly right-leaning Johnson county? And my view is that there are way too many people "behind the wheel" who should have never gotten there in the first place. A broad cross-section of the public ran into my car in the last couple of years. Those were 5 people who probably should have never been issued driver's licenses in the first place.

mightyquin 6 years, 1 month ago

lawrenceguy40, I don't know where your are getting these ideas but you need to chill a bit. No one is forcing anyone to use public transit or planning to force them to. The reasonable folks of Lawrence who voted for the "T" and support public transit just want to provide a choice for those who want to do something to help reduce pollution, traffic and provide a service for those who don't have any other transportation options.

Kizzy 6 years, 1 month ago

It's not about control or political philosophies. The K-10 Connector is responding to a need and because of successful planning and cooperation between transit systems, universities, and counties, it has become a success. Transit gives people another choice in how they travel. Providing transit service as additional choice makes our region more adaptive to tough economic times. And that is just one of many, many benefits.

kappyblu 6 years, 1 month ago

I knew about the expansion because my bus driver told me. Why didn't the article include Johnson County Community College and its riders??? We are the majority.

dandelion 6 years, 1 month ago

I took the first K10 Connector of the day to the Edwards Campus and at both stops there were people waiting to get on. They didn't look like overnight janitors, so I assume they were people from the area going to KU for morning classes. I love these people who seem to know so much about the buses, but never ride them.And lawrenceguy40, these people aren't using up a lot of gas. But then you must love all those terrorist that end up being funded by all the money we send to the Middle East for oil. Anything we can do to use less oil, so we can tell the Middle East to go blank themselves is a good thing. I'd say if you support public transportation you are a patriot, and care about this country more than you care about yourself. So we know where you stand.

kappyblu 6 years, 1 month ago

Informed:There are a lot of people who ride that work in OP. They connect with another JO bus to where they need to go. You could even connect with a Metro bus from a JO stop somewhere. You don't have to be a student to ride. Just FYI. :-)

meanbean101 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow,the person who wrote this left out a huge piece of information pertinent to this article; Johnson County Community College students and faculty who commute from Lawrence to Overland Park. I find that very odd as the majority of people who ride the JO go to the community college. This is obvious to anyone who has ridden the JO. What an obvious omission.

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years, 1 month ago

OK, so let me get this straight. There aren't any obvious m-JO jokes to be made here; the system seems to be well-used; so are people saying it mainly benefits JCCC and we shouldn't be bothered with it?

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 1 month ago

Now, what about a commuter service between Lawrence and Topeka?Two stops in downtown Topeka could likely serve over 1,000 DG residents.

somebodynew 6 years, 1 month ago

"Have you ever been behind one of these things on K-10? It's like following a moving roadblock and causes more congestion than the 30 more cars would ever cause."While that may be true, think about it this way. Using your numbers there are 30 less drivers out there who are texting, talking on a cell, eating breakfast, reading, or listening to music- all distractions and possibly the cause of an accident that could involve you. So it is very possibly saving you from harm.

9070811 6 years, 1 month ago

If you're a DC resident, does the connector even matter to you? Your tax dollars don't pay for, JC residents do, and also the rider's pass money. Congestion? Isn't that what the other lane is for? To pass. Perhaps you should consider that connector drivers drive the speed limit (70mph) and not 10 over like regular cars.

notajayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

roger_o_thornhill (Anonymous) says… "And my view is that there are way too many people “behind the wheel” who should have never gotten there in the first place. A broad cross-section of the public ran into my car in the last couple of years. Those were 5 people who probably should have never been issued driver's licenses in the first place."Wow, roger, what an amazing coincidence. I'm sure nothing about your own driving skills made you a magnet for these five lousy drivers in two years.

Jaylee 6 years, 1 month ago

i dont care what anyone says about public transit or the reasons this particular system was enacted, i ride it and so do a lot of people i know who attend joco community college, as well as ku, as well as people who attend neither. its fairly convenient with the college being close to 35 and 435 to be picked up in kc and it runs every hour most of the day on weekdays with maybe 6 or 7 stops in lawrence..what is not to like? uhh gas money and wear and tear on your car plus the hazard that is k10 in general or paying $1.50 fare on a fairly nice bus. it is full every time i rise it no matter what hour.

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