City of Lawrence transit staff members have published the final scenario of bus route redesigns, which include some Sunday service and improved access to grocery stores for those who live in underserved areas of town.
The city will roll out proposed route and service changes in two phases, with the first beginning in August and the second beginning in January 2023. The route changes accompany the addition of the Multimodal Transfer Facility, expected to open in January 2023 at the southeast corner of Bob Billings Parkway and Crestline Drive.
A key highlight of the proposed changes: “Sunday service will be introduced as microtransit. Microtransit functions like Uber and Lyft, but it uses transit vehicles and drivers,” according to the city’s website. Anyone will be able to request a trip to and from locations within city limits between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sundays by using a smartphone app or dialing a phone number.
The city is also pursuing a one-year pilot of fare-free transit in 2023, made possible by federal stimulus funds.
In phase 1:
- “Interlined routes” will reduce transfers — the same buses will operate back and forth between two routes, so passengers don’t have to switch buses to transfer from one route to the other.
- Route 41 will be merged with route 42.
- “Routes 30, 34, 36, 38, and 42 along with routes 11 & 29, will change in August 2022 to meet the needs of students for a full academic year.”
In phase 2:
- Grocery store access: Routes 1 and 7 connect East Lawrence residents directly to grocery stores; route 4 connects North Lawrence residents to major grocery stores along Sixth Street.
- New Route 100 will connect the transfer facility, KU campus, and downtown Lawrence, as well as serving riders near Apple Lane.
- Routes 3, 5, and 6 will connect people to job centers at East Hills and north-central Lawrence through Downtown and Bob Billings transfer hubs.
- Route 27 will connect Peaslee Tech, Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence High School, and the University of Kansas to the new transfer facility. The route will also have year-round service, serve student housing along Perimeter Road, and interline with Route 10 for crosstown service to Rock Chalk Park.
- Route 5 connects HINU to the new transfer facility and downtown via an interline with Route 1. Transfers to Route 11 south of 23rd Street and Naismith Drive will be timed to provide easy transfers to South Iowa Street.Routes 7 and 9 will preserve an important connection from the Holcom Park neighborhood to Billy Mills Middle School and Lawrence High School.
Transit staff members have worked to gather public feedback throughout the planning process, and those efforts continue.
How to give your feedback on the proposed route changes:
Anytime: Complete the Lawrence Listens online survey. It will be available at this link until 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 29.
Three events are planned where route redesign consultants will present and take questions:
• Virtual public meeting: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29; register at this link
• Public Transit Advisory Committee meeting: 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 11; register at this link
• KU virtual public meeting: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14; register at this link
Two additional public events are planned:
• Transit staff on hand at the Lawrence Public Library: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 7 in the library entryway
• KU in-person public meeting: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 at The Crossroads, Level 4 of the Kansas Union
Transit staff will also hold virtual office hours to answer casual questions on a drop-in basis. They’ll be online on Zoom for about an hour during the following times:
• 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 23 — register here
• 3:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 — register here
• 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, April 8 — register here
• 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 — register here
• Noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 18 register here
• 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 — register here
Transit staff members will be at Seventh and Vermont streets with maps and materials to answer questions at the following times:
- 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23
- 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 25
- 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 29
- 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5
- 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 12
- 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 13
- Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 14
- Noon to 2 p.m. Friday, April 22
- 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, April 25
- 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 27
- 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, April 29
Finally, transit staff members will be tabling on Wescoe Beach with maps and materials to answer questions at these times:
- 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 29
- 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 6
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 22
For more information, check out the city’s website on route redesigns at this link.