Shortened bus hours limit public


Magaly Guerrero is currently a freshman at Seward County Community College. She is a cheerleader and is a resident from Liberal, Kansas. Magaly plans to transfer back to Wichita State University to major in integrated marketing communications. While attending Wichita State Magaly was involved in student activities council,President of LAT.IN.A, and a mentor of the office of diversity. Magaly’s hobbies include running, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Transportation is very important in a town like Liberal because not everything is in walking distance.

In September of 2012, the city of Liberal decided to bring in city buses for public transportation and a couple of vans for people with disablities that run Monday through Friday from 6a.m. – 6 p.m. with final routes running from 5-6 p.m.

The city buses would not only help people with disabilities but also people that do not have a mobile car to get to or from places such as work, school or stores.

Liberal has two bus routes that consist of a blue route and a red route. The city buses have five major transfer stops which consist of two grocery stores, the hospital, the local senior center and Seward County Community College/Area Technical School.

The City of Liberal website mentions “Buses can accommodate 12 seated riders and three wheel chairs.” The buses have one-way passes for only $1. The unlimited monthly passes are $30 and can be purchased at city hall.

Although, half priced fare cards are available for senior citizens, low- income riders and riders with disabilities. Students are also eligible to get half priced fare rides with their student IDs.

But now people are questioning whether the buses should run on weekends for those that do not have a way to move from one place to another, especially in the cold weather we have had lately.

Guillermina Lezama spoke about how the City of Liberal could improve its public transportation. “It would be more accessible if the buses could run more often instead of waiting a full hour,” Lezama said.

She also stated that it makes her schedule more difficult to work with since the buses do only run certain hours and days.

Lezama shared that she wishes the buses would run until 8 p.m. on weekdays. This would give her enough time to get off work and not be so rushed to catch a bus.

It would be great for the City of Liberal to think about making the buses and vans accessible on the weekends because people really do utilize them. The buses are very affordable compared to private taxi services, which can be very expensive. I called a local taxi just to see what their prices were, and they are $10 during night time and $7 during day time. These prices are too high for me, considering that the gas prices are very low right now and I could get a good start on a tank of gas for $10.

Making the city buses accessible during the weekends would benefit many especially during these cold winter days.