Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2011

City wants public input on changes to bus routes

February 17, 2011


Transit meetings

The city plans to have four informational meetings about the proposed transit route changes next week. They are set for:

• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lawrence Visitors Center, 402 N. Second St.

• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Douglas County Fairgrounds Building 21, 2120 Harper St.

• 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at Lawrence Transit offices, 933 N.H.

• 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

Riders of the city’s public transit system should prepare for route changes, especially if they travel in or near North Lawrence, Haskell Indian Nations University or the Prairie Park neighborhood.

City leaders will host four public meetings next week to get input on proposed changes that will add some new areas of service but also increase wait times for some parts of town.

“Operationally, we’re trying to get to a higher level of service, a higher level of efficiency, and we’re also looking for opportunities to get to some areas of town we’re not servicing right now,” said Robert Nugent, public transit administrator for the city.

Among changes proposed are:

• North Lawrence: The city plans to change the frequency of service along North Lawrence’s Route 4 from 40 minutes to 60 minutes. But the city is also lengthening the route so it will provide service to the Ninth and Iowa area and to The Merc.

Nugent said the city had been struggling with ways to provide bus service to the popular grocery store, and extending the North Lawrence route, which goes through downtown, seemed the most logical.

“Route 4 has had some problems with ridership,” Nugent said. “We are trying to find ways to get more ridership on that route.”

• Haskell Indian Nations University: The city is proposing to reduce the number of transit routes that serve Haskell from two to one. Under the plan, Route 1 no longer would go through Haskell’s campus. Route 5, which basically runs along 23rd Street and South Iowa Street, would continue to serve the university.

• Prairie Park neighborhood: By dropping Haskell from Route 1, the city will be able to expand the route to serve the Prairie Park neighborhood. Specifically, the new Route 1 would travel on Harper Street to 27th Street and would travel along 27th Street over to Haskell Avenue. The frequency of service also would improve from 40 minutes currently to 30 minutes.

Nugent said he’s proposing the change to Route 1 because he wants to increase its frequency and also wants to attract new riders from the Prairie Park area. But he conceded that the changes likely would cause several people who use the bus to get to Haskell to make an extra transfer.

Minor changes also are proposed for routes 3, 5, 10 and 11.

The city hasn’t set a date for the route changes to take effect. Instead, the city’s public transit leaders want to get feedback from the public before finalizing the changes.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

USD 497 is spending $4 - $4.5 million on school bus transportation.

I as a taxpayer want our public bus service to work with parents to provide bus service for our students.

How can the public bus service put this together?

Liberty275 7 years, 2 months ago

Yeah right. Lets sit little girls down next to smelly drunks on the bus for their ride home from school.

matchbox81 7 years, 2 months ago

The city kept the routes unchanged for like 7 years. The fact that the routes are being examined and changed more often is actually an improvement.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

It's all about improving service.

Maybe the Lawrence Bus Co didn't have it together.

Now KU on wheels and the T are working together....... not a bad plan.

cowboy 7 years, 2 months ago

put in some express north / south , east west buses . iowa sixth to 31st 23rd , harper to wakarusa sixth , mass to wakarusa

theres so much winding around that you can't get across town quickly

matchbox81 7 years, 2 months ago

The changes in north Lawrence could make the service easier to use (easier to figure out what time the next bus arrives when it comes every 60 minutes, versus every 40 minutes). Plus, linking up North Lawrence directly to a grocery store seems like a good idea. If N Lawrence folks prefer that it be linked up to Dillons instead of the Merc, then they should probably go to the public meeting.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Something wrong with children walking to school? Think exercise. I enjoyed walking to school.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Back when you were walking to school, merrill, how many Amber alerts were there for kids abducted on their way to school in an average year? How many fatalities from school shootings? How many arrests for weapons in your school?

When you were a school-aged child, merrill, I'm sure the people riding their horses to work had no problems avoiding you. Times may have changed a little.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

Stranger abduction is extremely rare. Pedestrian fatalities from traffic accidents are far more common. If you're going to be worried about kids walking to school, be worried for the right reasons.

NewbieGardener 7 years, 2 months ago

amber alerts? child abductions? it's almost as if you watch Fox News every night and base your plan of transportation on fear mongering. not enough children are getting exercise by biking or walking to school. unfortunately, people like you believe that safety somehow equates to being in a vehicle and getting fat.

GardenMomma 7 years, 2 months ago

Nothing is wrong with walking to school. However, when your walking route has to cross one of the busiest intersections in town it's a little on the dumb/dangerous side.

omgsmileyface 7 years, 2 months ago

All I can say is if we did not have public transportation here in Lawrence I would not have a Thank you for the bus system........ I do not think kids should have to walk to school I grew up in Missouri where we never paid for books or bus service!!!

Don Whiteley 7 years, 2 months ago

Cancel them all and keep riderless buses off our streets and out of the gas pumps.

Crazy_Larry 7 years, 2 months ago

Here's the only change to consider: get rid of the communist/socialist bus system. Go buy a car and participate like everybody else.

NewbieGardener 7 years, 2 months ago

The Lawrence T-bus system is certainly flawed....they expect high levels of ridership when most of these buses pass by every 40-60 minutes. Public transportation only becomes viable when it's just as convenient as using a personal vehicle. Until then, it's a farce. The city wonders why the buses are riderless, and instead of demanding a more convenient bus system with decreased wait times, we choose to cut bus services or increase wait times. It doesn't make sense.

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

It's never "as convenient" as using your own car.

But it could be a lot closer.

NewbieGardener 7 years, 2 months ago

Read about the example of Curitiba in Brazil...rapid bus transit can be very convenient if implemented in the right way.

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure.

It's just never as convenient as getting in your own car and driving directly to your destination without any stops.

madameX 7 years, 2 months ago

There's a bus shelter right in front of Checkers. I'm not sure which line that is, but yes, I believe they do provide service to Checkers' front door.

GardenMomma 7 years, 2 months ago

And there is a bus shelter at the Dillions at 6th and Lawrence and another bus stop shelter at 6th and Montery Way across from the Hy-Vee.

coderob 7 years, 2 months ago

If the Merc wanted to work with the T, it would put in some sort of visual display at the front of the store telling when the next bus was leaving. It could also do store announcements over the intercom. Working towards transit oriented development is a strategy lots of businesses are using to help deal with the decrease in business brought on by increased gas prices. That the Merc is an environmentally conscious grocery store only makes the idea of transit oriented development sweeter.

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