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KU News Release

April 10, 2006
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

KU park and ride lot, free express bus to reduce congestion, parking woes

Bus

An artistís rendering shows what the new Park
and Ride Express buses will look like. The service
will start in August, with the opening of the
new park and ride lot.

LAWRENCE — Guaranteed parking and free public express bus service are being offered to students and staff at the University of Kansas this fall as part of ongoing efforts to improve parking and transportation at the Lawrence campus.

This month the university will begin selling to students parking permits for the 2006-07 academic year for its new 1,500-stall park and ride lot now under construction on west campus.

The lot will be served by a new bus service, Park and Ride Express, which will shuttle students, staff and visitors to the main campus in less than 10 minutes. The bus service, which will be free and available to all riders, will make approximately 11 stops on a looping route through the center of the main campus and west campus.

“For too many people, a KU parking permit has become a hunting license as the demand for parking has outstripped the number of available spaces,” said Donna Hultine, director of parking services. “The park and ride lot offers guaranteed parking and a relaxing and quick ride to campus. It also will significantly help relieve the pressure on other parking lots on campus.”

The map shows a section of
the Park and Ride Express route.
See a full-size, color version of the
Park and Ride Express Map.



An artistís rendering shows an
overhead view of what the park
and ride lot will look like when it is
completed.
Iowa Street is shown
running north and south, while
Clinton Parkway runs east and
west of the lot.

Recent transportation and parking studies recommended that KU pursue off-campus parking and transit service as an economical solution to its parking problems and campus congestion. The study determined KU needed 1,800 more parking spaces to meet demand.

Starting April 17, returning students can purchase the $205 annual park and ride parking permit — which offers guaranteed parking in the lot and a free KU on Wheels bus pass worth $140 — by using the online Kyou portal. Incoming freshmen who will not be living in university student housing may purchase the permits during New Student Orientation sessions this summer. The KU on Wheels bus pass will allow permit holders to reach campus locations not served by the express bus, such as the Daisy Hill residence halls.

KU faculty and staff can enroll to purchase new park and ride permits and other campus parking permits through payroll deduction starting April 24.

The park and ride bus service will begin Aug. 14. Fall classes will begin Aug. 17. More information and maps of the KU Park and Ride Express route and the park and ride lot can be viewed at www.parkandride.ku.edu.

The new $9.3 million park and ride lot will include 50 day-long metered stalls for visitors and 24 parking spaces for the disabled. Only park and ride permit holders and visitors will be able to park in the lot. Drivers will access the lot at Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive. New stop lights will be installed this summer at the intersection.

The Park and Ride Express will feature five 35-foot-long ADA-compliant Opus Low Floor buses that carry about 50 passengers. The buses will be manufactured in Valley Center by Optima Bus Corp., formerly known as Chance Coach. Optima, which employs 200 people, has manufactured buses for transit systems in Wichita and Topeka and such universities as Clemson, Iowa and Miami (Fla.)

Initially, the buses will operate from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. weekdays and will leave the park and ride lot every six minutes at peak times and every eight to 10 minutes during nonpeak periods, decreasing to 20 minute intervals after 5:30 p.m. The ride to central campus is expected to take eight to 10 minutes.

Anyone can board the park and ride buses at any of its stops on campus and ride for free. It will also allow staff to travel between campuses during the day without having to move their cars.

The new lot replaces a student park and ride lot by the Lied Center and the Dole Institute of Politics. That lot will no longer offer park and ride service and instead be an overflow lot for residence hall parking. The popularity of the lot had made parking difficult during Lied Center and Dole Institute events, Hultine said.

A community transit open house, featuring new Park and Ride Express buses as well as KU on Wheels and the Lawrence Transit System, is slated for May 9 at the Kansas Union. More details about the event will be announced later.

The city of Lawrence worked with the university to acquire $1million in funding for the buses through the state Department of Transportation. KU is contributing $348,000.

“The city is happy to assist KU with this endeavor,” said Cliff Galante, city public transit administrator. “Our role as the conduit for the Federal Transit Administration funding is a first step in providing coordinated public transportation service to the community. We are pleased to be able to dedicate the city’s share of the joint federal allocation to a project.”

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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.

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