City of Lawrence starting process to pick a downtown bus station location

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With several Lawrence Transit projects reaching their final stages, staff members are starting to shift their focus to finding the right location for a new downtown bus station.

The new Central Station at Bob Billings Parkway and Crestline Drive is set to open Tuesday, Jan. 2, accompanied by new routes and other changes.

Five routes will serve the downtown area when the new routes roll out.

“The Downtown Station site selection process aims to improve comfort and convenience to encourage more transit ridership today and in the future,” according to a city news release Tuesday. “In comparison with the design and construction of Central Station, less significant improvements will be needed for the Downtown Station.”

Transit staff members have identified the need for driver restrooms, individual bus bays, sufficient seating, weather and wind protection, and next departure signs as key elements for the downtown station. But they want to engage the community to find the right site.

That process will include three phases, according to the release:

  • “Phase 1: Establish a steering committee. Define the Downtown boundary and site selection criteria.
  • “Phase 2: Identify, solicit, and evaluate all possible sites within boundary against the established criteria.
  • “Phase 3: Rank and select three sites for test concepts, and then select one site for final design.”

“Prior work to identify a site for the Downtown Station did not reach a conclusion,” according to the release. “A new approach this time intentionally brings the community along through three phases to reach a community-supported site.”

Adam Weigel, transit and parking manager, said in the release that the Central Station provides a great example of the quality of bus facilities Lawrence deserves, and that downtown should have the same level of quality.
“The big question is, where do we fit those amenities? I’m looking forward to the community helping us figure that out,” Weigel said in the release.

The city aims to select a site in 2024 and begin design and construction work in 2025. The topic will be discussed at the Lawrence City Commission’s Jan. 2 meeting, according to the release.

The site selection process is expected to take place in 2024, with the design and construction work targeted for 2025. This topic will be discussed at the January 2 City Commission meeting. More information is available on the city’s Downtown Station project webpage,

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