Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ridership jumps when fares are removed

...Because of a 2008 student agreement to eliminate bus passes, the University of Kansas’ transit system is fare-free during the school year. Students need to only show their KUID while boarding to have access to the transit system. One-way dollar fares are also still accepted by KU on Wheels.

“Many off-campus students can use the transit system to get to and from campus in a timely and cost-saving manner,” said Derek Meier, KU on Wheels transportation coordinator.

An additional agreement made in 2008 among the city and the University also allows easier access to both coordinated bus systems. Students, faculty and staff can ride the Lawrence Public Transit service, or the T, for free by showing a valid KUID. City residents who show a valid T bus pass or transfer slip can also ride the University buses for no fare.

“Overall, the relationship has been a success,” Robert Nugent, Lawrence Public Transit adminstrator, said. “Ridership is up eight percent through the last year on city buses. Lawrence Transit has begun combining informational pieces to allow riders to take advantage of the two systems.”

Since the fare-free system was put into place, KU on Wheels has proven to be a more popular transportation option with students as well. Ridership doubled during the first year of fare-free, with another 20 percent increase last year. Kansan