Monday, August 10, 2009

City considers bus shuttle for KU football game days


Gameday shuttle proposed for KU football

KU football fans looking to avoid the traffic near Memorial Stadium could be in luck, thanks to a proposed gameday shuttle.

KU football fans would be able to pay $1 for a round-trip bus ticket connecting downtown and Memorial Stadium this season, under a plan up for approval Tuesday night by Lawrence city commissioners.

The shuttle service is designed to lighten parking demand and traffic congestion in neighborhoods near the stadium, while also attracting visitors to the central business district.

“It brings some additional people downtown, where we hope they will enjoy some shopping opportunities,” said Jonathan Douglass, an assistant city manager.

The shuttle would operate during all six home games, running to and from Memorial Stadium and two downtown stops:

• the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets, near the Lawrence Arts Center.

• the north side of the curve at Sixth and New Hampshire streets, at the Riverfront parking garage.

The shuttle would start two hours before kickoff, and stop one hour after each game.

Last year’s shuttle, which offered free rides, averaged 870 round-trip riders during Kansas University’s seven home games. That service cost the city $13,720, while Kansas Athletics Inc. kicked in about $7,000.

This year, Douglass said, the full cost would fall to the city: an estimated $10,961, the expense remaining after predicted revenues get factored in.

Efforts to provide some form of game-day shuttle service involving other locations in town — such as restaurants, hotels and other shops along South Iowa Street — remain unclear, Douglass said. The city recently sought proposals for running such a route, but received no offers.

Officials are checking to see whether the Lawrence Transit System, commonly known as the T, might be able to provide one-way trips for $1, the system’s regular fare.

Bob Nugent, transit administrator, said that running a South Iowa-to-Memorial Stadium route likely would require game-day adjustments to the system’s new Route 11, which takes effect Aug. 17. Officials want to wait and see how many people ride the regular route, and from where, before considering potential adjustments.

“We’re somewhat restrained,” Nugent said.

Commissioners are scheduled to consider approving the game-day shuttle plan during their regular weekly meeting, which begins with an executive session at 5 p.m. Tuesday and continues with the public portion of the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will be at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.


Ted Toulouse 11 years, 3 months ago

A good idea that local bars had when I lived in St. Louis was to offer a shuttle for $2 to the arenas/stadium if you bought an appetizer or other food before the game. They operated their own shuttle buses and had special access to get really close to the stadiums. Of course they have to have plenty of parking around their establishments for "customers" at the game as well as ones in the bar. It was always cheaper than trying to park around the stadiums and the restaurants usually offered some sort of discount or free booze if you had a game ticket. Would try it if I ran a bar in Lawrence.

sdoyel 11 years, 3 months ago

This is a no brainer and should've been in place years ago....

d_prowess 11 years, 3 months ago

I think there are a couple places in town that already offer that service. Doesn't 23rd St. Brewery do something like that?

hawkfanI 11 years, 3 months ago

It's a great idea! We'll definitely use it. Just wondering how all those getting $25+ for parking will feel about it?

Larry Smith 11 years, 3 months ago

West Coast Saloon does it, as well as Old Chicago (i believe).

Christopher Hauser 11 years, 3 months ago

I always used to take the bus from the American Legion to the games as recent as 2000, I do not know if they do it anymore though. The bus would drop us off on Missouri right in front of the stadium and then park on the same street after the game if I remember right.

Rock_Chalk_NYC 11 years, 3 months ago

What dummies... What are they going to do, print tickets for the return? Another city council missing common sense.

Here ya go. $1 per way, cash only. Whoa, EUREKA! This plan should have been in place years ago.

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