Archive for Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Transit system reaches 1 million users

March 4, 2014


It was “T” for a lot more than two in 2013.

The city’s fixed route bus system — called the T — had annual ridership of more than one million passengers for the first time in its history.

A new City Hall report said ridership in 2013 reached 1,063,128 passengers. That’s quite a turnaround from just a few years ago. From 2006 to 2008, ridership declined on the T, hitting a low of 437,671 passengers in 2008.

Since then, ridership has increased by 142 percent. The upswing coincides with a change in city policy that allows Kansas University students to ride the city buses simply by showing their KU ID card. The city has been readjusting routes since that time to make more stops at apartment complexes and other locations heavy with students.


Mike George 4 years, 1 month ago

To all the KU students who used to pay for their fares, but now just show their ID: You're welcome, from a fed-up taxpayer. This goes to show you that you can make the ridership numbers look like anything you want if you give away enough free rides. Let's face it, the T isn't any better - we are still subsidizing a very generous loser.

Rex Hargis 4 years, 1 month ago

The KU students pay for riding the bus as part of their fees when they pay their tuition. Thus, they pay to ride the bus even though they might not ever use it. As a non-student bus rider, I say "thank you" to the KU students for this support.

Beator 4 years, 1 month ago

I say "thank you" to a gallon of gas doubling since 2008. Let's shoot for 2 million riders this year!!

Mike George 4 years, 1 month ago

Referring to the news article entitled "KU and city announce five-year contracts for bussing services", dated December 18, 2013, I see the following: 1) The two transit systems are coordinated, but NOT the same system. 2) KU pays MV separately for the KU transit system - "About two-thirds of those costs are covered by KU student fees, with the other third coming from parking fees, Kaiser said." It appears that the student fees earmarked for public transportation end up here. The City of Lawrence contracts separately with MV Transportation, and the City of Lawrence budget for 2014 shows line items for public transportation receipts on Page 120 as only $305,674 for fare box receipts, and $3,054,450 from transfers in from the General Operating Fund. A footnote explains that the sales tax receipts that are earmarked for public transporation go into the General Operating Fund and then are transferred into the Public Transportation Fund. Nowhere do I see a receipt for KU students fees as part of the operating funds for the T. So all of us who pay sales tax, which to a limited extent does include student contributions, actually pay for nearly ten times what the T brings in fares. I believe that Mr. Farkus and Mr. Hargis have a mixed understanding of where the revenue side of the T operation comes from. The students benefit by being allowed to ride the T by showing their cards without KU reimbursing the City for that portion of the ridership.

Mike George 4 years, 1 month ago

Regarding my statement about the Adopted City of Lawrence budget for 2014, I should have said Page 108, which is Page 120 in the Adobe document.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

KU and The T merged more or less which is smart economics.

Damn few could afford to ride in those giant airliners if it were not for tax dollar subsidies…. yes that is correct.

Automobiles are subsidized 24/7. The SLT is a 300 billion tax $$$$$ subsidy for fossil fuel vehicles and think about the 24/7 maintenance on our city streets = cars are a huge tax dollar item on local,state and federal budgets. Cars cost local taxpayers way more $$$$$$$ than the T will ever.

Mike George 4 years, 1 month ago

Richard, I've told you a million times never to exaggerate......

Julius Nolan 4 years, 1 month ago

And Mike, I've noticed several posters asking you to research your facts and info pior to posting nonsense.

Mike George 4 years, 1 month ago

What part of the Journal World articles and the approved City budget don't you believe? The original news article that we have posted to refers to the T, not the KU portion of the coordinated transit system, and it was regarding the T that I directed my original remark, which the other articles and the budget substantiate. Please tell me which part of this you consider nonsense.

Mike George 4 years, 1 month ago

And for those who apparently haven't researched their facts and info, here is an email from Danny Kaiser at KU Parking & Transit:

Mr. George, You are correct. No student fees are paid to the City of Lawrence for the operation of the T. Student fees pay for operational costs of KU on Wheels through the University contract with MV Transportation. KUOW and the T honor each other’s fare media so any passenger can ride either service simply by showing that fare media.
Danny Kaiser Assistant Director, Parking & Transit 1501 Irving Hill Road University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 66045 785-864-7445

Because 90% of the receipts supporting the T come from the sales tax that was added by popular vote, my original comment regarding the students benefitting from the persons who pay the most sales tax still stands.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.