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University Relations

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Nov. 14, 2005
Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU parking, transit task force to seek 'fare free' zones for bus riders

LAWRENCE -- A University of Kansas task force has been named to develop, in coordination with the city of Lawrence, a plan for creating an expanded transit system that reduces congestion with the hope of allowing people to ride buses on campus without paying a fare, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger announced today.

Other goals include revising campus parking systems to reduce the overselling of parking passes, allowing assigned parking lots for staff and students and adopting a new parking permit structure to encourage more use of buses and shuttles from park-and-ride lots rather than parking in and around the central campus.

The Transit Implementation Task Force -- led by Danny Kaiser, assistant to the vice provost for student success -- will be seeking input from the university community throughout the planning process, including at Tuesday's university Parking Commission meeting. The commission, led by Professor Tom Mulinazzi, will conduct an open forum session and invite the public to express views about parking on campus at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. Comments also can be sent to

The implementation task force is a result of ongoing study and efforts over the past decade to improve parking and transit services for the campus. The increasing numbers of buildings, staff, students and cars on campus, compounded by the limited amount of available parking, has caused congestion.

A 10-year parking strategy report completed in March by Chance Management Advisors of Philadelphia challenged KU to "rethink" the way the campus addresses parking and transit. The CMA report is online at

Following the CMA report, Shulenburger appointed a committee of student, faculty, staff, KU on Wheels and city representatives to conduct a transportation study of legal issues, options for providing services, proposed routes, estimated costs and methods for recovering costs. The committee's report, completed in September, is available online at

The report's recommendations include:

--Creating a "fare free" system that is universally accessible.
--Applying for federal funding to purchase buses (80 percent federal funding, 20 percent local match).
--Coordinating efforts with the City Transit System, which is currently the single designated funding recipient for federal transit funds within Douglas County.
--Phasing in implementation of the system over a number of years.
--Parking rates and policies to promote the use of remote parking lots and transit vehicles.

The new implementation task force and the Parking Commission will consider action steps that might be needed to achieve the recommendations, including:

--Assigning faculty, staff and students to a specific parking lot or parking zone on campus with minimal oversell to fairly well guarantee a parking space. Use of an efficient and accessible transit system would reduce the current congestion on campus.
--Options for off-campus routes and fares as part of the on-campus free fare system.
--Coordinating with city transit routes to give people better opportunities for travel to campus by transit, leaving cars at their residences.
--Design of a new 1,500-car Park and Ride lot on West Campus and supporting transit shuttle service. Construction is anticipated to start in February 2006.

--Structuring parking permit fees to encourage the use of remote parking and transit by making remote parking less costly than central campus parking permits.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045