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Archive for Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plan would begin to merge city, KU routes by August

March 4, 2009

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By August, public transit riders in the city may see the first signs of Kansas University and the city combining their bus systems.

A consulting team hired by the city and KU said Tuesday that a new combined route running through downtown, the KU campus and into the South Iowa Street shopping district could be up and running by the next KU school year.

“It could allow our ridership on the city transit system to essentially double,” said Mayor Mike Dever. “That could really help us with the federal dollars we receive for the system.”

The new route would replace the city’s route No. 8, which served KU, and KU’s route No. 24, running from 31st and Iowa to campus, and No. 25, serving downtown to campus.

City riders would see a higher frequency of buses serving campus, as buses that ran every 80 minutes along the old route would run every 30 minutes, said Casey Toomay, interim transit coordinator for the city.

Toomay said one of the biggest complaints the city had was from KU workers who faced long waits along the old route during the summer, when KU buses didn’t operate.

Although the new route is a combination of city and university routes, the new route would be considered part of the city’s transit system. That’s important, Dever said, because the city receives annual federal grant money that is based, in part, on the amount of riders the city system serves. The city system currently provides about 390,000 rides a year.

Any changes are still tentative, and public meetings on the proposals will be conducted throughout March. Other routes would also be modified slightly, and a new combined map for the two systems would also be created.

Feedback on the new routes will be gathered from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 11 in the Relays Room at the Burge Union; from 4:10 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 24 at the Lawrence Public Library auditorium; and at 6:35 p.m. March 31 in the City Commission Room at City Hall. Final decisions on these initial recommendations would be made in late March, and implemented by the fall. Additional, more significant, changes are likely to occur in 2010, said Danny Kaiser, assistant director of parking and transit at KU.

For a detailed look at the new proposals, including a map, visit getonthebuslawrence.org.

Comments

Chris Ogle 5 years, 10 months ago

City riders would see a higher frequency of buses serving campus

Go KU Rock chalk jayhalk... Lawrence is so special

Omegatron 5 years, 10 months ago

Don't think they should change just one route. All of the current routes for the T need to be addressed.

Every route should be running on a half hour time table from start to finish and most routes need to run longer.

Buses on less traveled routes need to be smaller and fuel efficient, and large buses on heavily traveled routes need to run only during those times that the route is heavily traveled.

They also need to grid the city with routes staying in specific grids instead of running all over Lawrence.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 10 months ago

Next we will read.... KU Transit to reduce service. . Oh by the way, don't forget KU Med. and Johnson County

mmmmm 5 years, 10 months ago

I hope everyone actually takes the time to read the report! Olsson did a great job of listening to the community and balancing the needs/benefits to the Lawrence and KU. The bottom line is the largest benefit to the environment will come from getting more people out of their cars and onto the bus. Everyone knows you do this by making routes more frequent and reliable.

xbusguy - City riders will get 30 min freq from downtown (the major city hub) to south Iowa when classes are in session. Currently this service is every 80 minutes. It makes sense to improve this route, it has the highest ridership and lowest frequency of any current city route. Currently the KU Route that serves this area gives about 1600 rides a day, that is the whole ridership of the City system by combining routes. Conveniently, many extra federal funding formulas to get more federal monies come from increased ridership. A partnership means that both parties need to step up and help each other, this route will create a great basis for coordination and true partnership, both parties have to gain. Please don't also forget that the University is the largest employer and biggest destination for all residents in LAWRENCE. Faculty, Staff, Students and their parents all pay sales taxes too!!!!

Omegatron- There is not enough money to run at a higher frequency on city routes without giving routes or length of service, since there is no monies for net increase. The focus on this primary route is necessary to aid the coordination of service to realize the efficiencies that will come in 2010 through further coordination. If the city and KU can't even handle this one route than it is unlikely that coordination will ever happen. If you actually read the report, it recommends smaller vehicles on routes with low ridership. But, the cost of running different vehicles at different times of day realizes no increase in savings. A grid will not work for the city with the few number of buses and lack of frequency. All of the places where this works are not even similar to Lawrence.

Danimal 5 years, 10 months ago

Dumb, dumb, dumb... Great deal for the city, as they can get more Federal funding for their empty bus system; horrible deal for KU as students will be increasingly saddled with a bus system that doesn't serve campus and routes that decrease from 3 or 4 runs per hour to 2 runs per hour to appease the city. This was a stupid idea when it started getting traction in 2005, and it's still a stupid idea. The KU system works, and the city system doesn't. Smart money would say that one should be left to die and the other to flourish, but in our stupid town we'll break whats not broken so a handful of people can feel better about it and everyone else can pick up the tab.

Omegatron 5 years, 10 months ago

"Omegatron-

"There is not enough money to run at a higher frequency on city routes without giving routes or length of service, since there is no monies for net increase. "

"A grid will not work for the city with the few number of buses and lack of frequency. All of the places where this works are not even similar to Lawrence."

I disagree with both those points.

Right now you have buses going from the far east of town to the far west. From the far south to the far north. That's the reason why the frequency of the Lawrence transit system sucks. That's why most people have such a low opinion of it.

If you grid the system so that buses operate only in certain parts of town (E,W,S,N) that would increase the frequency and the efficiency of the system.

There are enough buses now to implement major changes in the system.

"The focus on this primary route is necessary to aid the coordination of service to realize the efficiencies that will come in 2010 through further coordination. If the city and KU can't even handle this one route than it is unlikely that coordination will ever happen."

Can't realize the efficiencies of a coordinated system if one of the system is less then efficient in it's operation.

Unless that system is fixed first, a coordinated effort is doomed to failure from the onset.

"If you actually read the report, it recommends smaller vehicles on routes with low ridership."

If you grid the system there would be no routes with low ridership as there'd be one major route in each grid.

"But, the cost of running different vehicles at different times of day realizes no increase in savings."

Every major route should be ran until 10 o'clock at the earliest.

Every large bus should be ran until after the evening rush hour then replaced with smaller buses. The savings would be in the time you'd have to service buses not in operation.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 10 months ago

Currently the KU Route that serves this area gives about 1600 rides a day, that is the whole ridership of the City system by combining routes, says mmm

mmmmm... and what does that tell you? 7-8 rides per vehicle revenue hour for the Empty.... not exactly much bang for the buck... is it? Oh, guess what.... we (the city) can pay to transport KU students to class and improve ridership numbers for our empty buses.. Nothing better than a city transit system (that is not working) lending a helping hand to a KU Transit system is working. Great idea.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 10 months ago

"mmmmm (Anonymous) says… The bottom line is the largest benefit to the environment will come from getting more people out of their cars and onto the bus. Everyone knows you do this by making routes more frequent and reliable."

Except, of course, there is virtually no demand for the city system and I seriously doubt if making empty busses drive around in circles will somehow magically create a demand. The most telling quote is the one from Dever: it will allow the city to count more people as "riders" and thus allow them to pocket more of your tax dollars. Yay!

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