KU on Wheels
Together, the City of Lawrence and University of Kansas provide safe, convenient, affordable, reliable and responsive public transportation services to enhance the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community.
KU and the City of Lawrence (Lawrence Transit) have partnered since 2008 to coordinate campus and city bus systems, providing the most efficient service possible with our transit resources. Campus is a 'fare free' zone, and students, faculty, and staff can board any bus in Lawrence free with their KU Card.
While KU on Wheels and Lawrence Transit remain two separate entities with separate funding and governance structures, we've achieved our goal of making it operated as a single transit system. We coordinate our services in a variety of ways, such as jointly publishing a single Transit Guide, publishing route and schedule information on a single website, and providing a single location and phone number for customer service, lost & found and feedback.
KU's Student Senate oversees the funding of KU on Wheels, JayLift and SafeRide. The funding for these programs is part of the required campus fees, which are reviewed by Student Senate's Finance Committee and Fee Review Subcommittee on an annual basis.
The three fees are the Transportation Fee (for the operations of KU on Wheels & JayLift), the Bus Acquisition Fee (for the purchase of buses) and the SafeRide Fee (for the operations of SafeRide).
Fee increases are typically "inflationary," based on the rising costs of fuel and our contract for service. A fee increase may be requested in order to add new services. In 2008, the KU student body voted to approve a referendum for an additional $20 fee increase in order to make the buses "fare free" for all students. In the following academic year, bus ridership nearly doubled!
The Transit Commission makes decisions regarding the transportation services, including KU on Wheels, JayLift and SafeRide. Operational decisions made by the Transit Commission — those affecting day to day service — are considered final and are implemented as directed by Transportation Services staff. Policy decisions are forwarded to the Provost for approval before implementation.
Public Transportation has long been one of the ways to get up the steep hill we know as Mount Oread. In fact, streetcars operated on and around the Lawrence campus from 1910 to 1933.
The Lawrence Bus Company operated the public transportation in Lawrence until 1971. When Lawrence Bus Company closed down its public operations, KU on Wheels was created to keep transportation for students on campus. KU on Wheels operated under Student Senate oversight from 1971 until 2007, when it moved to the KU Parking & Transit office (now KU Transportation Services).