On a snowy day in December, Lawrence Transit System rolled its first buses out onto the streets. The date was December 16, 2000. It’s hard to believe it’s already been 20 years since that momentous occasion!
Lawrence Transit, “The T” started city bus service when citizens of Lawrence recognized a need for transit in their community. Beginning with eight fixed routes and paratransit “T Lift” service, transit was off to a great start when it launched in December 2000.
The city’s public transit buses have traveled countless miles in the last two decades, carrying people to work, school, medical appointments, grocery stores, and many more destinations.
Over the years, Lawrence Transit has expanded and grown as community needs shift, adding new services and reaching new milestones, including:
- Bus routes have been added and times have been adjusted to allow for easier transfers from one bus to another. All routes now run on a thirty minute or one hour schedule.
- Bus service has been coordinated with KU Transportation Services. This has been a win-win for bus riders since anyone can now ride any bus in Lawrence using the same fare media.
- Night Line provides bus service from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday. This increased service to 24 hours a day, Monday – Saturday.
- Mobile tools make life easier for bus riders since they provide real-time bus information and show where the bus is on a route.
- Bus pass sales outlets at all four Dillons stores, Hy-Vee, and The Merc have made it convenient for bus riders to purchase a bus pass while grocery shopping.
- The K-12 Student Semester bus pass program was created to be an easy and affordable way for students to get around town and to school.
- Bike racks are available on all buses, including KU buses, allowing riders to complete trips using a bike and bus.
- Bus stop and amenity improvements have made riding the bus more comfortable and accessible while waiting for the bus.
The future looks bright for Lawrence Transit. Plans are underway to construct a Multimodal Transfer Facility in 2022, in coordination with redesigning bus routes. More information on those upcoming changes can be found at lawrencetransit.org/transfer-facility. In 2021, at least 21 bus stops will be improved with amenities such as shelters and benches, and in 2022, Lawrence Transit will add five electric buses to the fleet.
For more information, call (785) 864-4644. For information on current COVID-19 safety protocols, visit lawrencetransit.org/coronavirus. You can also find us on Facebook: @lawrencetransit and on Twitter: @TransitKU.