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Archive for Monday, August 10, 2009

City considers bus shuttle for KU football game days

August 10, 2009

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Gameday shuttle proposed for KU football

KU football fans looking to avoid the traffic near Memorial Stadium could be in luck, thanks to a proposed gameday shuttle. Enlarge video

KU football fans would be able to pay $1 for a round-trip bus ticket connecting downtown and Memorial Stadium this season, under a plan up for approval Tuesday night by Lawrence city commissioners.

The shuttle service is designed to lighten parking demand and traffic congestion in neighborhoods near the stadium, while also attracting visitors to the central business district.

“It brings some additional people downtown, where we hope they will enjoy some shopping opportunities,” said Jonathan Douglass, an assistant city manager.

The shuttle would operate during all six home games, running to and from Memorial Stadium and two downtown stops:

• the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets, near the Lawrence Arts Center.

• the north side of the curve at Sixth and New Hampshire streets, at the Riverfront parking garage.

The shuttle would start two hours before kickoff, and stop one hour after each game.

Last year’s shuttle, which offered free rides, averaged 870 round-trip riders during Kansas University’s seven home games. That service cost the city $13,720, while Kansas Athletics Inc. kicked in about $7,000.

This year, Douglass said, the full cost would fall to the city: an estimated $10,961, the expense remaining after predicted revenues get factored in.

Efforts to provide some form of game-day shuttle service involving other locations in town — such as restaurants, hotels and other shops along South Iowa Street — remain unclear, Douglass said. The city recently sought proposals for running such a route, but received no offers.

Officials are checking to see whether the Lawrence Transit System, commonly known as the T, might be able to provide one-way trips for $1, the system’s regular fare.

Bob Nugent, transit administrator, said that running a South Iowa-to-Memorial Stadium route likely would require game-day adjustments to the system’s new Route 11, which takes effect Aug. 17. Officials want to wait and see how many people ride the regular route, and from where, before considering potential adjustments.

“We’re somewhat restrained,” Nugent said.

Commissioners are scheduled to consider approving the game-day shuttle plan during their regular weekly meeting, which begins with an executive session at 5 p.m. Tuesday and continues with the public portion of the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will be at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

Comments

Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

Lots of folks would gladly pay even five bucks to avoid the hassle.

Stop giving away Lawrence.

You at City Hall have already tried that and are now finding out how well it worked out as you punitively tax residents and businesses to death because you cannot control your spending.

Jerks.

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Bursting 4 years, 8 months ago

I will definitely take advantage of this at the Riverfront!!!

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

It's a curious thing that sports fans are capable of paying a tidy sum for tickets and concessions yet are unwilling or unable to pay the actual costs associated with operating this bus. It's also interesting that despite the obesity epidemic plaguing our society people consider walking a few blocks to be beyond the pale.

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Armen Kurdian 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't agree that people won't pay to ride a bus if they have to pay more. For example, I live in San Diego, and a lot of people pay about $5 each for a round trip ticket to ride the trolley to Padres & Chargers games. It's so much easier. Granted, the traffic problems in KS pale to those here in California, but at the very least, the city should break even on the deal, w/the athletic department covering any shortfall.

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countrygirl 4 years, 8 months ago

So where are the fans going to park down town that won't result in a parking ticket while they're at the game? Parking garage?

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Bill Thompson 4 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like win - win to me! There are some intangibles that are hard to quantify like increased traffic on mass street for the businesses there that do happen to pay a lot of taxes! $13K is pretty cheap if you ask me!

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persevering_gal 4 years, 8 months ago

If the athletics department is going to chip in like they did last year, I'm fine with it. Otherwise, this plan is terrible when you put the extra costs in the hands of those who may not even attend the games or ride the shuttle. Charge more for the shuttle if you're actually going to provide this service, because I sure don't want to pay for it!

What happened with the Park and Ride taking the fans to the games over at the Clinton Parkway parking lot?

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jayhawker4real 4 years, 8 months ago

I would absolutely take advantage of this. Having deferred ever buying another season ticket until the money grubbing Perkins is deposed, I now pay the scalpers premium for tickets, and 20 bucks a game to park in a yard where I wait an hour for reveling fans to return for their vehicles and traffic to clear. I can have an excellent lunch downtown instead of a lousy hot dog in an alleyway. I would ride this shuttle at $10 and consider it a bargain! And I agree with those who say it is foolish to subsidize it. Advertise and promote it. Make a big deal of it. Have the downtown restaurants and watering holes offer a special with a shuttle ticket stub, or even offer the shuttle tickets at a discount to their game day patrons. It can work without the subsidy.

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes the beat goes on in America as the entertainment profits are private but all the costs that those who buy the tickets is socialized. How convenient to live with a foot in each pot.

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Matt Warman 4 years, 8 months ago

Kansas Football parking is an embarrassment. Something better than shuttles needs to be developed.

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lawrencian 4 years, 8 months ago

I think "averaged 870" means that they had that many riders per game, for about 6000 riders, total.

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Bowhunter99 4 years, 8 months ago

let me get this straight... so $1 is NOT ENOUGH for a bus ride.... does that mean we can raise the mT fares to their true cost?????

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

Or let the season ticket holders continue to figure it out on their own.

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BrooksideJayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Interesting timing on this decision. All the season ticket holders long ago committed to parking lots either on or close to campus. I would have been happy to start my day at the Free State and catch a bus to the stadium. Note to commission: You need to decide things like this in the spring!

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

Of course money is readily available for such projects, that's our Lawrence! Allen Press allows there empty lot to be used for this activity, how exactly does this benefit Mr Chestnuts boss? There was great concern about Freenet paying market price for public access, as cowboy said, is a $1 really paying for the cost of the service?

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Robert Rauktis 4 years, 8 months ago

These fans too fat to walk five blocks? Or confused over directions?

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jeromepichette 4 years, 8 months ago

Last year, according to your figures, about 124 people per game used the bus. Let those people pay the entire cost . I, for one, don't appreciate my tax money going to subside someone else's entertainment.

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Bowhunter99 4 years, 8 months ago

They're losing money at a dollar a piece just during a small time window...

Think how much money is being wasted/lost EVERY day on EVERY mT bus......

Enjoy the sales tax you voted for!

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Lori Nation 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow so the city can't/won't put more crossing guards especially at major intersections but they are willing to put $$ in for this, completely dumb. If those on our commission board approve this your nuts!!

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Orwell 4 years, 8 months ago

Except then a lot (maybe most) of those folks would add to the traffic crunch by trying to park closer to the stadium and avoiding coming downtown, which kind of defeats both of the program's objectives.

I can't imagine why the nickel-and dime cheapskates at the Athletic Monopoly couldn't keep kicking in a few thou, unless they really don't give a damn about anything but their own almighty balance sheets. Perkins could afford to write the check himself if he gave a damn about Lawrence.

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cowboy 4 years, 8 months ago

Why would you set up something that will intentionally lose money ? Charge four buck a ticket knuckleheads , make some money off it !

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