The launch of a new coordinated bus route serving the city of Lawrence and Kansas University helped boost the T’s ridership in August, officials said.
A total of 48,313 riders took the Lawrence Transit System’s fixed-route buses last month, up 37 percent from 35,349 in August 2008, said Bob Nugent, the city’s transit administrator. The total had been 32,744 a year earlier.
Nugent attributed the latest increase to KU students riding the joint Route 11, which runs from South Iowa Street to downtown Lawrence through the KU campus. The route stops at three major apartment complexes: The Reserve, on 31st Street; The Exchange, at 31st and Ousdahl Road; and Campus Court at Naismith, at 24th Street and Naismith Drive.
Route 11, considered a “spine” for the two bus systems, started Aug. 17 — just before the opening of KU’s fall semester — and has exceeded expectations ever since.
“With the success of this route, we look forward to exploring other ways for the city and university to continue coordinating services,” Nugent said. “It appears that Route 11 has accommodated the needs of both KU students and city riders.”
One-way rides on the bus cost $1, or are free with a valid KUID.
Because students do not pay fares to ride the bus, Nugent said, city officials do not expect to see additional revenue generated by the coordinated route.
Instead, he said, both the T and KU on Wheels are working to provide the most efficient and convenient service possible with a minimum of resources.
“At this point, it’s about making sure we’re using resources as efficiently as we can,” Nugent said. “We have a better quality product with about the same amount of money.”