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Lawrence City Commission to decide on location study for transit hub

A Lawrence Transit System bus stops just south of Seventh and Vermont streets, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.

A Lawrence Transit System bus stops just south of Seventh and Vermont streets, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.

May 15, 2017, 5:47 p.m. Updated May 15, 2017, 5:48 p.m.

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At their meeting Tuesday, Lawrence city commissioners will decide whether to move forward with another location study for a bus transfer hub.

The new study will identify locations for both a primary and secondary transfer hub for the city’s bus service. All but $10,000 of the $50,000 study will be paid for by a planning grant.

The decision of whether to go forward with the study has raised additional questions. Last month, commissioners delayed making a decision regarding the study and instead directed staff to review the study’s timing in relation to the citywide sales tax referendum and the deadline to allocate the grant money earmarked for the study.

If approved, the study would not be complete until December 2017, which would mean its results — and any decision regarding a transit hub or hubs — would still be pending should voters be asked in November whether to renew the city’s .55 percent citywide sales tax, according to a memo from city staff to the commission. Currently, part of that tax goes to fund the city’s transit system.

The bus service has been using what was meant to be a temporary location in the 700 block of Vermont Street as its main transfer point for years. A location study was completed in 2014, but the potential locations identified by that study were ruled out with the exception of a site near the intersection of 21st and Iowa streets that is owned by University of Kansas Endowment.

If commissioners approve another study, it would use current ridership, traffic and demographic data to determine possible locations for a transfer hub or hubs. Before recommendations are determined, consultants would seek input from the commission and the public, as well as identify potential partnerships.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.

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