Upcoming times for public discussion
Consultants hired to help coordinate services between KU on Wheels and the Lawrence Transit System will be available to accept public comment during three meetings this week:
• 3 p.m. Monday in the McCook Room at KU’s Burge Union, a chance for KU students to weigh in on routes and schedules.• 4:10 p.m. Tuesday at the Lawrence Transit System office, 933 N.H., during a meeting of the city’s Public Transit Advisory Committee.• 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Lawrence City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets, during a regular weekly meeting of the Lawrence City Commission.
Consultants looking to help coordinate transit services in Lawrence are coming to town this week, and they want to hear from you.
Members of the consulting team — from Olsson Associates, of Overland Park, and Bourne Transit Consulting, of Ames, Iowa — will be collecting suggestions for coordinating the routes and schedules of KU on Wheels and the Lawrence Transit System.
The consulting team has been hired by the two systems as an “implementation specialist” tasked with devising a combined route map and operational schedule serving the entire community, including the Kansas University campus.
With first round of recommendations due March 1, the transit experts intend to work fast.
“We’re still in an information-gathering phase,” said Tom Worker-Braddock, an assistant transportation planner for Olsson Associates. “This first week is really just a boot camp of meeting with all the stakeholder groups.”
In all, the consultants will conduct 32 formal meetings with interested parties — from developers to neighborhood groups, and from employers to bus-riding employees.
Three of the meetings — with KU students, the city’s Public Transit Advisory Committee and Lawrence City Commission — are open to the public and are designed to draw from the broadest spectrum of perspectives.
Consultants also intend to ride buses, paratransit vans and otherwise visit with Lawrence residents to pick up knowledge to supplement what already has been gathered during previous open houses, written surveys, online questionnaires and professional studies.
Leaders expect the meetings to offer something of a two-way street for information.
“In addition to hearing from the public, the implementation specialists will be able to share ideas that they have already generated about our systems and get feedback on those ideas,” said Casey Toomay, the city’s interim transit administrator.
The city and KU recently hired the consulting team for $91,880. The firms’ contract calls for an initial round of recommendations, plus a second, more complicated set of coordination plans designed to take effect in time for the fall of 2010.