City seeking feedback on potential new formats as part of redesign of bus routes

photo by: City of Lawrence

One bus route scenario shows route possibilities for a grid-based route structure.

The City of Lawrence is seeking feedback from residents about format changes to the city’s bus routes.

The city previously conducted a survey about residents’ travel patterns, and based on those results, a University of Kansas Urban Planning class came up with three redesign scenarios, which the city is now seeking feedback on, according to a city news release. Lawrence transit began studying the route redesign this fall, which will help inform a new route structure and the development of city’s new transit center that will be built at Bob Billings Parkway and Crestline Drive.

The city currently uses a hub-and-spokes structure for its bus routes, meaning that the city operates various routes that often require riders to change buses at the current transfer location in downtown Lawrence. The route scenarios presented for feedback include a grid pattern of routes, a “ubiquitous” pattern of routes, and a radial pattern of routes. Each of the three route patterns also has a reduced summer schedule.

The survey provides interactive maps of each scenario and asks respondents which new routes or new connections they like and whether the scenario creates any notable service gaps. Information about each scenario, provided in the survey, is as follows:

Scenario A uses a grid route pattern that includes a new north-south corridor route on Kasold Drive and an east-west corridor route on Clinton Parkway/23rd St. There are 17 total routes, with eight serving the future transit center and five continuing to serve the downtown area.

Scenario B uses a ubiquitous route pattern that includes a number of crosstown routes between major centers of activity. There are 18 total routes, with seven serving the future transit center and five continuing to serve the downtown area, though with a decentralized approach.

Scenario C uses a radial route pattern in which a frequent circle route creates transfer connections to most routes in the system. There are 15 total routes, with eight serving the future transfer facility and four continuing to serve the downtown area.

The city has allocated $4.5 million for the construction of the new transit center. Transit and Parking Manager Adam Weigel recently told the Journal-World that the route redesign process and the design work for the center could begin as early as February and would be finished by the end of the year. Its estimated construction on the transit center will be finished by August 2022.

Lawrence residents, whether they use the bus currently or not, may complete the survey on the Lawrence Listens platform on the city’s website, Lawrenceks.org. The deadline to respond to the survey is 12 a.m. on Jan. 15.

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