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Sound Off

Sound Off: Does the bus system track the times, places and the amount of times the buses have no riders?

The city of Lawrence provided this response: The city does not track the amount of time the buses are empty. However, the transit service was initially designed as “coverage” service. This means it was designed to cover as much of the municipal area as possible. In the last two years, the city has amended the service to make changes based on demand. This means that we may still be providing service to a given area but may not be providing it as frequently as other areas that are experiencing higher demands. “Regardless of how the system was designed or how it is operating, our ridership is dynamic,” said Robert Nugent, transit administrator. “This dynamic nature is not only spread out over the 14 hours of the day that we operate but also fluctuates depending on the day of the week and even the month of the year.” The city does track the number of passengers transported each hour. This number is a better representation of how the service is operating and highlights the success of recent changes. Prior to the amended approach, the system averaged six to eight passengers an hour. In 2011, the T service has been averaging 12 to 20 passengers an hour.

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 8 months ago

"In 2011, the T service has been averaging 12 to 20 passengers an hour."

According to their route map (http://www.lawrencetransit.org/pdf/route-map.pdf) there are 10 to 16 routes running at any given time. So, one person per bus per hour. Not bad. /s

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backyardwino 2 years, 8 months ago

what about, " Prior to the amended approach..." do you not get?

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Hoots 2 years, 8 months ago

Most of the routes in the guide to ride are KU and not T routes. The 43 for example which is KU carries over 800 passengers per hour. KU and the T moved around 2.7 million riders last year which makes our transit system the largest in the state by ridership. That's just a fact and not something made up.

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 8 months ago

Any fixed route system consists of fluxuating hourly demand with a need for a constant suppy. They are lessening the frequency of some underused, but still essential routes. But in order to serve the entire city there are some inefficiencies in the system. As a senior citizen with no car who depends on the T, as do many others, an occasional empty bus is a small price to pay for freedom of access.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

Small price to pay for who? I know who, those of us who work to support our families. Here is an idea, if you need a ride, call a family member.

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backyardwino 2 years, 8 months ago

So, i don't have any family within 3 hours of here. . . i'll call you tomorrow for a ride. Thanks for the pickmeupanddelivermeservice!

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

Get off the wine and buy a car.

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

I work and I support the bus system. Such a nice comment to make to a senior citizen. Hope you're teaching your kids manners - you weren't taught any. My elderly mother uses the JoCo bus system on days when she's not up to driving. Lots of senior citizens use the bus. I don't have kids, but I have to pay property taxes so your kids can go to school. SEE, it goes both ways. You use services I don't, but I have to pay. You have to help pay for services you don't use, but many do. It's called living in society. Get used to it or move to the boonies.

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

You guys get the wrong idea. Nobody is against assisting people that can't get around with some system of transportation.

The problem is that the bus system isn't really designed to help anyone, but instead to prop up the city's liberal credibility and to prove Lawrence isn't just a backwater hole. That's why we have 40 foot busses. The smaller 20 foot mini-busses is all that is needed in this irrelevant little town.

Dump the 40 foot busses on ebay, buy an equal number of smaller busses and you will see complaints drop. We all see the 40 foot busses with zero to 3 passengers, and anyone with common sense realizes it is a waste of money. I can fit 3 passengers in my Subaru. OTOH, I can only fit one in the Vette, but I don't like other people riding in it anyway.

Of course, that would mean a partial defeat of the left's white elephant of public transportation, but pruning the waste demanded by the left is an inherently good thing.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Those 40-foot buses are packed in the afternoon. I have ridden on that route before the big buses, when there was standing-room only. A few times, I actually waited for the next bus because there were so many people on it. The high demand for those routes warranted bigger, safer buses. Just because it isn't always filled to capacity doesn't mean it wasn't needed.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

That's because the city started letting students ride for free to boost ridership numbers. Another one of the stupid ideas coming out of city hall.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

The students don't ride for free. Their tuition covers the use of the buses (KU puts a lot of money into the system). I know this for a fact, because my husband was a student at KU who used the bus many times.

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

They did go through the routes and are using short buses for the routes that don't carry as many people. My route is one of those. Drop the liberal hate bull cr*p. And, I bet you live in a more affluent area that doesn't have many riders, since you have to brag about the cars you have. Get over yourself!!!

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Cai 2 years, 8 months ago

Given that the city has voted over and over again to increase funding to the T, to keep the routes open despite the rider numbers and sometimes empty buses, and to maintain all of the routes, I'd say that the majority of the part of the city that votes disagrees with you.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

When have Lawrence voters ever voted against raising taxes?

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grimpeur 2 years, 8 months ago

"It is only a small price to you. Everyone in the city is paying for empty cars and SUVs to ride around and gain miles, occupy the oceans of parking in our city, use fuel, polute the air, just to pander to the wasteful single-occupancy tax hogs.. a city this size needs a more efficient and higher level of service from a city wide bus service. Walk or ride a bike or find a carpool, rather than have property taxes go up every year."

Fixed sort of.

The expense of the T is miniscule compared to the waste of our tax dollars by wasteful, selfish, and lazy single-occupancy drivers. You want to reduce waste? Fine. Start with personal autos and the habits of their operators.

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

"You want to reduce waste? Fine. Start with personal autos and the habits of their operators."

I'll make you a deal. I'll quit driving my cars when I need you to pay for them. On your side, raise the bus fare so the system is self-sustaining. We will share the cost of roads through fuel taxes, car registration and property/income tax.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

If you raise the fare, then the people who need the service the most will not be able to afford it. The whole reason for the bus system is to provide a service for people who need it.

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

But, these idiots don't care about those that need the service. They're happy to see people unemployeed, living in homeless shelters and using soup kitchens instead of having affordable public transportation that will take them to paying jobs.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

+1. They will get theirs too; everyone always does eventually.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

You have a lot of envy and anger directed at people that are successful. You might want to take your own advice on karma.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

No I don't. My husband and I gross more than $70,000/year. We are on our way to being very successful. That has nothing to do with my compassion toward people who have less than me and need assistance. I have been on the other side and know what it is like to have nothing. People treat you different and look down at you just because you don't make as much money as them. I am not angry. I am just pointing out your short-sighted and selfishness. It really isn't costing you much in the scope of how much it helps those people in need.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

You're a government worker, I take it.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

No. I work in the financial services industry. I am not saying that the T system is cost-efficient, because it is not. It is a community service that many people rely on for transportation. I think the city needs to find any way it can to cut costs so as not to burden the taxpayer more than necessary, and still help those that need it.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

If the city will do anything they will decrease the fares. That's been their standard procedure to inflate ridership numbers. The KU students already ride for free.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Not free...KU pays their share, in which the funds partly come from the fees the students are charged.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Can you imagine how many rounds of golf would be played at Eagle Bend if students paid a minimal student fee and then got to play for free all semester? You don't seem to understand economics very well.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I understand perfectly well. Why don't the students deserve a break? Most students do not make much money and can't afford much. They get to ride a bus for a minimal fee. They need the help, so why not? Also, that fee is $400 dollars each semester for parking and for the bus. That's not minimal for most college students.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I understand perfectly well. Why don't the students deserve a break? Most students do not make much money and can't afford much. They get to ride a bus for a minimal fee. They need the help, so why not? Also, that fee is $400 dollars each semester for parking and for the bus. That's not minimal for most college students.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

KU should be the one providing bus service to students. Let KU take over the T completely.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Why have 2 systems that run similar routes? Why not combine and save money?

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backyardwino 2 years, 8 months ago

I see bus drivers every day that take care of people in a way that I would hope my own mother is taken care of. There is obviously a need and demand for public transportation because the citizens of this city overwhelmingly voted for it. It just makes sense. ( http://tinyurl.com/7u4q9f9 ) I have a vehicle that proudly sits in the driveway 6 days a week because I ride the bus. Do you really think the bus system drives around empty? Really? Obviously you don't ride it. Very 'merican of you.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

Great.... I see the handicapped bus dropping drunks off at the bar and picking them up. We who pay taxes are tired of paying your bills.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 8 months ago

Pics or it didn't happen. I drove the para-transit route operated by the T for two years, and not once, on any of our routes, did we ever pick up or drop off "drunks at the bar."

There's plenty of valid criticism for the T as it stands, there's no need to make up BS that didn't happen.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

It sounds like mini vans or taxis would be just as effective as the buses but cost a lot less to operate. Hopefully that's where we'll end up when the federal funds dry up and the buses need to be replaced. There is no excuse for driving around 20,000 lb buses with one or no riders.

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backyardwino 2 years, 8 months ago

You obviously don't ride the bus either. Instead we should replace a bus with welfare, soup kitchens, crime and more cops? Responsibility is getting citizens to jobs and not using 60 engines to do it. So very shortsighted of you. Don't like it. . . VOTE next time.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

I did vote and I will vote against the buses every time it is on the ballot.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Let's just say "Karma's a bitch." Remember that next time you are down on your luck. Not everyone has a silver spoon in their mouth.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

A sliver spoon? Try working my butt off in school and out of school. Everything I have I've earned. Unfortunately Lawrence has way too many people to whom these are unfamiliar concepts.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

I earned everything I have. But I didn't always have much. And in those times, the bus system was a godsend, as it is for many people here in Lawrence. Just because someone is poor does not mean they deserve it. There are so many factors that contribute to someone needing assistance (and no, they aren't all bums).

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Fine. Operate smaller buses, vans or taxis for those people. We don't need buses that carry 60 people.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, there is a need for the bigger buses on certain routes. I have used the routes with the big buses and they were filled. Sometimes I had to wait for another one since I did not feel like standing the whole way home. They might not be filled all the time, every day. But in the afternoon when work and school gets out, the need is there.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

not if you quit giving out fee rides to students.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Like I said a million times before: it's not free. Students are paying a lot of money to KU. KU pays to use the bus system....noone's getting a free ride. Maybe a discounted one, but not free. The number one thing I learned in economics class is nothing is for free.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

By the way, I'd rather keep as much of money from being wasted by ideologues at city hall so I have money saved in case I ever need it. Not everyone expects the government to save them and provide them with a comfortable life. Some of us still know how to take care of ourselves.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

If you have nothing to begin with and no money to save, what do you do then? I have been in that situation. And there was no borrowing from family...they also had nothing. You can't save for a rainy day if you do not have enough for today. Most respectable people don't want a government handout, they NEED the assistance. How much would it really save each individual by not having the system? And how many lives would be affected by not having the buses?

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

So why is making bad choices with public resources a good way to fix your life? You might have a job if the city didn't run off decent employers and waste money on services that a tiny numer of people use.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

There are people in Lawrence that do not have a vehicle for numerous reasons. They rely on the bus system to get to and from work, to the grocery store, etc. The money the city would save by not having the bus system is not worth the affect it would have on the citizens relying on it. Just because someone is poor does not mean it is from bad choices. Even if it is due to their choices, should someone suffer unjustly forever because of it? Where's your compassion?

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

You are an easily confused person. Mostly people are saying that the city needs smaller buses, vans or taxis. People rightfully are angered when they see empty 50 person buses driving around Lawrence.

When people are starving we don't cook 10,000 pounds of food if there are only 50 people to feed.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

You are exaggerating. And I am not easily confused. You have to make this a personal attack because I do not agree with you, and you do not have a solid argument. The big buses are only used on a few routes that have a demand for them. The city probably paid for those buses partly from grants or Federal money, too. If there wasn't a need, there wouldn't be the big buses. I have been on those big buses, and they were always full. In the middle of the day, what can you expect? Most people are at work or school. The buses are going to be empty at those times.

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

You don't need to ride a bus to see through the windows.

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rockchalker52 2 years, 8 months ago

Cities the size of Lawrence need a bus system. It serves a need that definitely exists. Tax dollars are used for actions & services that benefit the community. I don't mind paying for that. As Can't_have_it_both_ways so aptly pointed out, it is a small price to pay for those of us who work to support our families.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

you know, the sad thing is it would probably be much cheaper for the city to buy people like you a used car to drive than it is to operate the bus system.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

there's probably less than 100 people that regularly ride the bus. 100 times $5000 is a heck of lot less than the T's annual budget. of course I'm being sarcastic, but it proves the point of just how wasteful the T is.

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

$5000? You gotta be kidding. The city could go through anyone with a car dealers license and buy 100 used cars for $1500 a pop. It would be a good day at the auction also, supporting local wholesalers (aka Lawrence's new car dealers) instead of whichever corporation in a different state builds the busses.

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backyardwino 2 years, 8 months ago

it's laughable because you're so wrong...ha!

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

The best and most vital community services are not profitable. That is why they are called "services," not a business.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

I can't name a single other service that the city pays for that only a tiny fraction of the intended users actually use. Imagine if Eagle Bend only had 10 golfers a year.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Even if only a handful of people use it, it's obviously still needed. It isn't a tiny fraction, either. And the number of riders is increasing each year. A golf course isn't a necessity. Being able to get to and from work is. BIG difference.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

The golf course users pay for it. And no, the bus is mostly empty. The city allows students to ride for free to artificially inflate ridership numbers.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Not free for students; it's included in the "fees" the students are charged at the beginning of every semester. It didn't make sense to have one bus system for KU separate from the city system. A lot of the routes overlapped, so the city combined forces with both KU and the city paying their share.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

The KU buis system has always been in high demand. The fee is minimal and it dramatically inflated the T ridership numbers. If you made the students pay what rides actually cost they wouldn't use it, just like before.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Most students don't have the money to pay each day. I never had money when I was in college. I spent all I had on books and tuition and other fees. KU pays to have the use of the system....not free, then, is it? Are you saying that it would make more sense to have 2 separate systems again, even though a lot of the routes overlapped? Sounds like that would be much more inefficient.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

It's simple economics. If you go to an all you can eat buffet, you're going to eat three times more than you would otherwise.

Also simple economics, the KU buses are full because they serve a need that is in demand. Namely, parking is a real pain on KU's campus and students can't drive past the checkpoints.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Why are you so against the combination of KU and city bus routes? They used to be separate, which didn't make much sense, so the city changed that. KU does pay the city to help keep up the costs of the system, too.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Then see if KU wants to take over the T. They have more experience in operating a successful bus system than Lawrence. It's mostly students riding the T anyway. Let the users pay for the service.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

KU won't, you know why? Because the T is a major loser.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

KU pays a good share of the costs for the system. They agreed to combine forces with the city to be more efficient.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

No, KU does not pay a good share of the costs of the T.

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

I hate golf. I have no kids. Yet, my tax dollars pay for that stupid golf course and to educate your children. We all pay for things we don't use. GET OVER YOURSELF. You act like most of your paycheck is going to pay for the bus system. It isn't. Transportation is a vital need in the community and we can't try to attract new businesses to Lawrence without it. Do you want to grow the economy and create jobs? You can pay to go play golf at some fancy club. Many in town can't get to work or school without the bus system.

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omgsmileyface 2 years, 8 months ago

I ride the bus 4 days a week I would not have a job without the bus system so anyone who would vote against the bus system obviously has never been down on their luck and needed a little help. If you are so lucky why don't you donate your car to someone who rides the bus daily and then you can find out just how lucky you really are.... If that is your picture then you look like you can afford to buy us all a used car

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

I always donate my old cars to people that need them. Few things make me happier than helping people in need, and few things are as disgusting as someone else taking my money and giving it to people, then taking credit for being compassionate.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

When I was down on my luck, I took a bath, brushed my teeth, and went and got a job. I did not demand those who make good decisions pay for my inability to do the same.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Having or not having a job has nothing to do with the bus system. I have a job, but my husband and I shared one car. I rode the bus to and from work until I could afford my own car. Some people cannot drive for health or age or a variety of factors. It is a simple community service that should be a no-brainer, except for people like you who have not.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

It too, is a no brainer to pay your own freekin bills which includes transportation. You can not tell me that tax supported transportation that is in direct competition with tax paying entities like the local taxi cab companies is good for the economy of the cities and states. Last numbers were a empT ride cost around $9.00 a ride which $8.00 was mooched off the taxpayers and now transferred to a sales tax. A taxi ride anywhere in town is $9.00 and paid by those who use the service. You and those like you will not win this conversation. The public transportation system as a whole is a form of income redistribution, which benefits a very small segment of society. Tennis courts are just about as useful. If you needed to get somewhere and there was not a empty 40 foot bus, you would figure out a way to do it.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

You missed the point. Some people cannot afford a taxi ride or the costs of maintaining a car to get to their jobs. That is where PUBLIC transportation comes in. It is a service for those who cannot pay more than the $1 it costs to ride the bus.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

No you miss the point, if you need a ride, call your friends or do with out. Public transportation does nothing for the public good except attract people who cant or wont pay their own bills. If you got paid for watching tv all day, then maybe you could afford your own transportation.

Maybe you should consider getting a job?

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

You shouldn't impose your own problems onto someone else (like your friends) when there should be a service there to help. The people who use the bus regularly usually cannot drive for various reasons. They have jobs. They have no way of getting to these jobs without the bus because they cannot afford taxis. A lot of cities all over the USA have public transportation. Why should Lawrence be any different? It should be a no-brainer.

Oh, I have a job. I have my own car. I no longer need the bus, so I don't use it regularly. But before I got my own car, I was able to save money for one by riding the bus, which costs a lot less then taxis.

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

Try getting any companies to relocate to Lawrence without having a reliable transportation system.

I see busses all the time with riders. I see people waiting at the bus stops. Maybe some whiners out in W. Lawrence don't use it and are pissed about it, but people in other areas of town do use the bus. Most of us don't want to pay for people in W. Lawrence to have a new rec center (because you don't need it, just drive your nice cars to the others in town), but you want us to pay for it.

Goes both ways people.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

+1, even though I live in W. Lawrence, I still agree.

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, some people in W. Lawrence have brains and care about ALL in their community. :-)

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you gatekeeper. I did not always live on the westside of the tracks (grew up very poor). That might account for my support of all needs in the community.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

What a joke. Lawrence doesn't care about jobs. American Eagle located in Ottawa, which does not have a T. They provide numerous good jobs with good benefits to many people in Ottawa. Snobbish Lawrence told American Eagle to move along. They'd rather run empty buses so the hippies can make it to their plot in the community garden.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

Those who put the least into the system, continue to demand the most from it.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

All of you who are against the bus system are selfish and short-sighted. Every time I have used the bus, it's been pretty full. There are times when no one is on it, but not often. There are many reasons people use a bus. To be more environmentally conscious (less cars on the road), because they cannot drive even if they wanted to, because they do not have or make enough money to support their own car (cars are very expensive), and because they are students from out of this area who decided not to lug their car all the way to KU. America's infatuation with having one car to every citizen is a big cause of global warming. Less cars on the road = a good thing for the world. You guys don't care about anything but yourselves, so never mind.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

How is driving around an empty bus for 12 hours a day environmentally conscious? You haven't decreased the number of cars on the roads, you just added a bunch of empty buses.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

They're not always or often empty...get a clue!

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

take away the students and they're empty or mostly empty all of the time.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

the students who are charged about as much as a dinner at McDonlads to ride the bus as many times as they like. Which is essentially free.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

$400 a semester for parking and bus fare is not equal to a McDonalds dinner. The students who use the buses are usually not parking on campus, they're riding the bus they helped pay for with their fees and the additional money KU gives to the system.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

You might want to figure out that the parking and KU's own bus service is included in that figure. What matters is the actual amount that KU pays to the City., which isn't much.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Anyone in Lawrence can ride the KU buses as well.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

great. even more useless than the T. If I decide to go back to get a fourth degree I'm sure that will be amazingly useful.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Maybe more people like you should use public transportation and then the numbers of cars on the road would be reduced. And there would be more people using the buses, further necessitating the large buses and the system itself.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

So your true colors as a communist ideologue that wants to force your ideas of economic equality and environmentalism on the rest of society becomes clear. You're not one bit better than the religious nuts in Topeka. Your both cut out of the exact same oppressive cloth.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

You are being ridiculous now. A personal attack on someone who doesn't agree with you is not a good sign of maturity! By the way, even if I was a communist, it's my right as an individual to think and believe whatever I want. I am just trying to say the need for the system is there. There will always be inefficiencies in every social system. Nothing will ever be perfect. I am not forcing my beliefs on you; I am discrediting your nonsensical arguments. Agree to disagree.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

It is impossible to agre to disagree with you because you don't even seem to understand what the different arguments are in this matter.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I do. I agree there shouldn't be big buses without the demand. I am sure the city knows that as well. Read Merrill's comment below.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

No my friend, you are the one being selfish. How is it not selfish to demand that someone else pay your bills?

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

No one's paying anyone's bills. You're over-simplifying the issue. Living in a community demands that the community pulls together to help those in their community that need the assistance. If you do not want to pay for public service, which is what the bus system is, then move out of the city. I don't have kids, but I still help pay for schools. If we used your argument, then everyone should be able to pick and choose what services (if any) they contribute to. If that were the case, nothing would be funded and the general standard of living, especially for the impoverished, would be greatly decreased.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

The difference might be that we need to educate our young. We don't need to provide transportation for moochers to get to the welfare office.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

The people who use the bus the most are usually disabled in some way. They are not all moochers. Why punish everyone for a few people's mistakes?

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rockchalker52 2 years, 8 months ago

Ya know, I've often wondered why this column is called 'Sound Off' because rarely does anyone do that. It's usually just a helpful vehicle for answering questions posted by the readership. Today, lots of people are sounding off with enthusiasm. Giggety.

Gotta run, the bus is coming. I hope I can get a seat. It looks packed.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Cars and roads are high dollar budget items. These cars are constantly demanding more and more tax dollars be spent.

These cars expect government to provide them with an obsolete trafficway design at a cost of more than $200,000,000 million dollars which covers only the installation. Not the millions that will be demanded to remove the snow,resurface,more law enforcement and more lanes and more of who knows what next.

Yes cars are definitely a very high dollar budget item...... always demanding the smoothest of roads and more parking space even multi million dollar parking garages.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Ever heard of gas taxes, property taxes and sales taxes, Merrill?

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

And the gas taxes aren't covering the cost of basic repairs on the roads.

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Phil Minkin 2 years, 8 months ago

The city parking lots are a waste of space and money as I frequently see lots of empty spaces. I also only put out trash once or twice a month so we should make trash pick up only monthly. And those bums at the fire stations spend lots of time not putting out fires. Let's get rid of most of them.

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asixbury 2 years, 8 months ago

Foodboy makes a lot of sense. And now I'm hungry...

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Does the City actually report total bus revenue, costs and riders every year? I can't say that I've ever seen it.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

"Ever heard of gas taxes, property taxes and sales taxes, Merrill?"

Still cars are never happy. The JW comment sections frequently have unhappy cars whining about something.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

KU and the T engaged in long term discussions before teaming up and working together. It is a good operation and both pay reasonably well = good for the local economy.

The T offers one of the largest payrolls in Lawrence,Kansas plus benefits.

Of course the city keeps an eye on the numbers. Actually the T cut back on larger buses and brought in more smaller vehicles which is more functional for Lawrence,Kansas. Hats off to city hall on this decision.

Citizen taxpayers approved funding for the T by city wide vote.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Merrill, I'd like to see some hard numbers on the T. I'm just having to rely on estimation here, but Id guess the budget looks something like:

drivers salaries and benefits: $75,000 per year a piece x 20 drivers = $1.5 million maintenance $250K Fuel $750K Depreciation $1.2 million

Total: $3.7 million

KU probably pays the city, at most, about $25,000 for the students regular use of the T

Paying ridership: from the T's own reported information : $18,509 (that's not a misprint. that's it)

So the city is paying about $4 million per year and receiving $50k in revenue.

There were 65,000 "riders" (including nonpaying riders)

That means that each ride cost about $60 Each rider paid about 75 cents

Pathetic.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

what's the going rate for a taxi ride across town these days? It can't be more than $15. Pay more for less service. Liberal government at it's best, folks.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

what's the going rate for a taxi ride across town these days? It can't be more than $15. Pay more for less service. Liberal government at it's best, folks.

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Hoots 2 years, 7 months ago

The drivers wish they were making 75k a year. You aren't even close to living in reality. You are so far off it's mental.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Merrill and his love of government workers is a inane. Taking a dollar away from me, so I can't spend it, and giving it to someone else does not grow an economy. There is still just one dollar that has been spent, it was just spent by someone else. Economics is not a strong point on these boards.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Just back from dinner out downtown. I happened to see one of those new huge 50 seat "eco-friendly" buses driving down Kentucky. It was totally empty at 5:30 PM.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

I figured there would be at least one person on it heading home from work.

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matahari 2 years, 8 months ago

Since $$ seems to be your major issue with the T can you please tell me exactly how much in taxes it costs you per annum for it to continue to run?

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gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 8 months ago

It has nothing to do with how much it costs an individual taxpayer. That is a red herring. If you'd like to make that argument to support programs, there are quite a few things on which the government can waste money because, per citizen, it doesn't cost that much. A better argument is how much per user does the service cost and is that an effective way of using those dollars.

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OzD 2 years, 8 months ago

The new Eco buses don't run routes that use Kentucky, so it was probably out of service heading for the bus depot. The #11 probably could run smaller buses over break, but during the semester they've had to make route adjustments due to overcrowding on that route.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Of course, still cars are never happy. Get 'em out on the road & watch the smiles come over their little faces.

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

The vette will leave 200 foot smiley marks on the pavement when it's happy.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

The number of riders will likely come to around 500,000 maybe more If past history is any indication...

Without Uncle Sam the cars would have no roads.

Without Congress shoving billions in tax dollars subsidies to the oil industry gas price at the pump could be $15.00 - $42.00 a gallon. Protecting the world's oil fields for the oil giants involves trillions of dollars.

Yes cars are quite expensive items for the taxpayers.

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

"Without Uncle Sam the cars would have no roads"

Luckily, the T is a hover bus system

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

"Without Congress shoving billions in tax dollars subsidies to the oil industry gas price at the pump could be $15.00 - $42.00 a gallon." How's about some documentation for that wild claim? From a legit source, please.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

If gas was $40 a gallon a T ride would only cost $600 per trip. Merrill apparantly thinks the T runs on good vibes.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

"Without Uncle Sam the cars would have no roads."

Without the LJW online we would have no Merrill.

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gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I ran the numbers before the last tax vote for the T. It costs the taxpayer (at that time) approximately $7.50 to provide a rider with a one way ride. So, for example, if you take the T from your home to work and back again it cost the taxpayers about $15. I ran the ridership figures against dozens of variables and nothing really had a serious correlation. Indeed, gas prices had a slight negative correlation. I'd run the numbers again but ultimately no one here who advocates for increased taxes (Merrill) would care. They'd be OK with a system at twice the price.

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streetman 2 years, 8 months ago

I believe that if there was a good, open discussion of the true cost of running the bus system - something not seen (purposely hidden??) prior to votes on this thing -- it would not pass. It infuriates me to see these big, empty buses cruising around town -- it's insane! There are limits to providing compassion.

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gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 8 months ago

Thuja proved my point perfectly. For certain members of the community the emotional "good" of providing a bus outweighs any argument against it. At the time I ran the numbers it would have been cheaper to have provided cab money to the few people who use the T rather than maintain the system. It is a bit like the argument about increasing taxes to support a new library. The same people who argue for more taxes to subsidize the T are (generally) the ones who argue in favor of a very expensive new library from an emotional "good" standpoint. One can point out that the city could purchase 100,000 Kindles for less money but it doesn't really matter.

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OzD 2 years, 8 months ago

Disclosure: I ride the bus frequently, and voted for the tax to support it.

I was surprised the tax passed (maybe from putting too much stock in the general consensus on this board), but was really surprised that afterwards that there wasn't a noticeable change I could see in ridership. People are willing to pay for something they don't have any intention of actually using. Weird.

I'm also frequently struck by how many people will never ride because they can't figure out a bus timetable, which ain't rocket science...oops, starting to drift into the bashing our educational system thread from earlier in the week.

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