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December 9, 2008
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Local transit leaders are listening to suggestions that might help improve and combine the city's and KU's bus systems.
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They should start by switching to EnGraph's transportation software :)
Replace Danny Kaiser at KU
How about "all the buses arrive at one location at one place at the same time"? The cost to accomplish this should be almost zero. The current system is based on the theory that most riders care about downtown. I don't. North Lawrence to South Iowa? East Lawrence to West Sixth? Haskell campus to KU? 27th and Louisiana to the North Iowa industrial park? Every single time, you'll have to wait 20 minutes each way downtown. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
The current system is designed to deliver shoppers to Downtown Lawrence cash registers and it does that just fine with a $7.00 subsidy from taxpayers. Need to do anything else anywhere else in the city, the empTy is near as makes no difference to useless. I defy anyone who doesn't live or work downtown to try and run three errands to two different parts of Lawrence and return home in under four hours using the empTy, it can't be done. Even if it could try carrying your groceries and 40lbs of grass seed along for the ride. It is absurd for anyone with a car and whose time is worth more than minimum wage.If this were NYC, CHI, or SF the empTy would make sense for lots more people and the buses wouldn't be so empty. But this is Lawrence 'College Party Town' Kansas and even most time stressed college students has a car. We have businesses and residences spread all over the city. We built horizontally not vertically which means we don't have the urban density necessary and aren't ever going to, never. It is unlikely you are ever going to serve the any significant number of yuppie commuters, home owners, or professionals in town, their time is to valuable and schedule too tight no matter how cheap the fare. IF you REALLY want to redesign the empTy from serving Downtown Merchants to those who ride (and I sincerely doubt this is the case, but lets pretend for just a moment) you first need to realize who your customers are and where they go. Only the very poorest person who has lots of time but little money, the most committed ecomentalist, or the rabid mass transit supporter nostalgic for the smells of the New York Subway system in the middle of the summer is ever going to regularly use the empTy. I suggest focusing on the first group. 1. Get yourself a current population density map of Lawrence and mark all the low income highest density apartment complexes and low income rental neighborhoods. As a proxy you can use the LPD's property crime statistics maps.2. Select several of the highest density poorest areas as mini transfer points for multiple routes. Each bus route should hit two or three of these areas but not all buses have to hit all areas, think interlinking Olympic Rings. You can have a link downtown if Downtown Lawrence Inc insist, and you can be sure they will.3. Send the buses where these people go, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, larger employers, Checkers, City Buildings, public recreation centers. Cover LESS of the city but INCREASE the number of buses serving each route. The service needs to be more reliable than their friend who has a car (no problem there) and there should be no more than a 15 minute wait between buses.Get focused and get good at serving your target market. Make the bus their first choice over their friends or even their old broken down beater. Serve the very few very well. You got sales tax money from 100% of the sales in town so now serve the 5% who use the empTy and do it to perfection.
Sigmund;If you are not able to make one of these meetings you can copy paste your suggestions on the city website.
Same with average, WWoftheW.
Already did. At least this response was free-form. In the past, their 1-5 scales and yes/no questions weren't even trying to measure issues like transfer time and the half-frequency service on the city's most ridden route (#8 across campus).
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