Since 2010, Lawrence Transit has operated the majority of bus transfers from temporary locations in Downtown. Site selection studies in 2014 and 2018, in addition to a TIGER grant application in 2016, informed potential viable sites for a permanent facility. In July 2020 the City and University of Kansas agreed to develop Central Station on university property located at Bob Billings & Crestline Drive.
Because the project site is not located near a current transfer area, a Route Redesign Study was conducted in 2021-2022 to take advantage of this new facility. In the course of the Route Redesign Study, it became clear that permanent improvements for Downtown transfers are required to facilitate routes that will still operate in that area. Downtown improvements remain on Lawrence Transit’s priority list, but are now separate from the Central Station project.
Upon completion of Central Station, it will be served by 7 local routes and 2 regional routes, with 5 routes continuing to serve Downtown Lawrence.
Status + Timeline + Next Steps
Project Start: July 2020
Project End: Q3 2023
Milestone 1: City of Lawrence and University of Kansas sign MOU for Bob Billings & Crestline site (July 2020) – Completed
Milestone 2: Conduct Public Outreach and Concept Design (April 2021–August 2021) – Completed
Milestone 3: Develop Design + Engineering Documents (August 2021–November 2022) – Completed
Milestone 4: Award Contractor (January 2023) – Completed
Milestone 5: Begin Construction (January 2023) – In Progress
Milestone 6: Complete Construction (Estimated Q3 2023) – Not Started
The MCP Group has begun construction activity on the Central Station site. In late May 2023, steel canopies near the building and for the bus platform are under construction. Pavement is anticipated to be installed in early June. Inside the building, electrical and window framing work is ongoing. The internal project team meets every 2 weeks to track high priority decisions and actions to remain on the project timeline, and new information will be shared publicly as it is available. The estimated timeline for the site to be operational for vehicles is July 1, 2023, which is critical for Route Redesign implementation. The completion of the building and less operationally-critical site work is estimated for completion in October 2023.
Downtown transit improvements, a related project, is expected to restart public engagement in 2023. More than $1.6 million of state funds have been awarded for Downtown, and the bulk of public outreach and site selection is anticipated to happen in 2023, with design and construction likely in 2024. For more information about Downtown improvements, please visit the Downtown Station project page.
Completed + Supporting Documentation
- Architecture: Wendel
- Engineering: Hg Consult, Inc.
- Property + Coordinated Operations: KU, KU Endowment
- Construction Contractor: MCP Group
Prior Studies + Background Information
- 2014 Bus Transfer Location Analysis
- 2016 TIGER Grant Application
- 2018 Bus Transfer Location Analysis
- Approximate Study Area
Central Station Project Milestones
- Public Engagement Overview and Timeline
- Stakeholder Meetings Summary
- Stakeholder #1 Video – Lawrence Transit, KU, First Transit Staff
- Stakeholder #2 Video – City and University Advisory Committees
- Stakeholder #3 Video – City of Lawrence Staff
- Stakeholder #4 Video – University and Nearby Neighborhoods
- Stakeholder #5 Video – Social Service Providers + Community Resources
- Stakeholder #6 Video – Neighborhoods
- Stakeholder #7 Video – Transportation + Government Partners
- Stakeholder #8 Video – Downtown Businesses + Tourism
- General Public Session #1
- General Public Session #2
- Sustainability Presentation Video
- Concept: Site Design
- Concept: Building Design
- Concept: 3D Renderings
- City Commission Advances Concept Design
- Site drawing sample (not full bid package)
- Building drawing sample (not full bid package)
- Public art proposal (proposed glass towers planned for ground level, rather than platform canopy)
- Scrub and tree clearing begins
- 4/20 Construction Update
- 5/4 Construction Update
- 5/25 Construction Update