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Archive for Thursday, January 21, 2010

KU and city open public meetings to review proposed transit changes

January 21, 2010

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To comment and learn more about recommended changes to transit service in Lawrence:

• Stop by the next of seven scheduled transit open houses, set for 6 p.m. today in Building 21 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St.

• Visit lawrencetransit.org, for a schedule of future open houses and maps detailing proposed changes.

• E-mail comments to Robert Nugent, transit administrator, at rnugent@ci.lawrence.ks.us, if you can’t make one of the meetings.

Gary Brunk’s neighborhood would lose its traditional, fixed-route bus service in favor of a more responsive, so-called “curb-to-curb” arrangement requiring people to call for rides 24 hours in advance.

And he’s all on board with the plan.

“It is a major change,” he said Wednesday evening, during an open house to discuss proposed transit changes in Lawrence. “It would be really nice to be able to call and get a ride on the same day. That would be nice, but I think this is worth a try.”

Brunk and others filed into a meeting room at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, 4706 Overland Drive, to review the latest round of recommendations that would help coordinate service involving the Lawrence Transit System, also known as the “T,” and KU Parking and Transit, also known as KU on Wheels.

While several existing routes either would be split in two, adjusted to meet identified demands or run on schedules designed to make travel more efficient, one of the biggest changes would establish a new “demand-response” service in an area north of Sixth Street, and also in North Lawrence.

Because the areas’ existing fixed-route services generally have low ridership, consultants recommend using smaller vehicles and having people call ahead to schedule rides.

Robert Nugent, the city’s transit administrator, knows it would be a major change, but remains confident that it would help improve service for residents and even spur increased ridership.

Six more transit open houses are scheduled throughout Lawrence and at Kansas University. No changes will be expected to take effect until Aug. 1 at the earliest.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

Ridership on the emp-T is so low, government transit continues to struggle for relevancy. What a mess.

This so-called “curb-to-curb” arrangement sounds exactly like a taxi service. We should feel sorry for Lawrence's few remaining taxi companies. Already struggling to compete with government transit, they'll now get hit with a new, knuckle-headed scheme to completely replace their business in north Lawrence.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

"...the areas’ existing fixed-route services generally have low ridership..."

This gets the award for understatement of the year.

Here's a solution: Sell the buses for scrap, provide taxi vouchers to the poor and disabled, refund our tax dollars, and get city leaders to go door to door apologizing to every Lawrence resident for more than a decade of fiscal irresponsibility and unnecessary pollution.

matchbox81 4 years, 11 months ago

From what the maps and the report at the transit website show, the service may take you to another place in the zone but if you're going anywhere else, the service will drop you off in downtown to take a fixed route.

lgreen17 4 years, 11 months ago

With the construction in North Lawrence, I now have to take the bus 30 minutes earlier than I would normally. The 45 min. trip from North Lawrence to West Campus, now takes 1 hour 15 minutes. I would take the bus, but I don't want to spend 2.5 hours each day getting to work and back.

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