A recent study that looked at public transportation options for Leavenworth County offers two recommended options.

 A recent study that looked at public transportation options for Leavenworth County offers two recommended options.

One option is for a curb-to-curb bus service in which passengers make reservations for trips within Leavenworth and Lansing service area. The second option is for fixed bus route that would link the Leavenworth and Lansing area to western Wyandotte County.

The Leavenworth County Transit Plan, the report that resulted from the study, recommends starting with the first option for the local demand and response service but including the second option for the route to Wyandotte County as part of a long-term strategy.

For now, these are only recommendations. But Leavenworth City Commissioner Nancy Bauder believes this could lead to public transportation services for local residents.

“I think we are going to see movement in the next year or two,” she said.

Bauder also serves as a commissioner with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. She represents Leavenworth County on KCATA’s Board of Commissioners.

KCATA operates buses in the Kansas City area, but it does not currently offer bus service in Leavenworth County.

The study was funded through the Mid-America Regional Council's Sustainable Places Program. The KCATA helped coordinate the study.

According to the report, the study looked at Leavenworth County, but there was a specific focus on the city of Leavenworth.

Bauder said she has been advocating for public transportation since joining the Leavenworth City Commission.

She said there are residents who may need a bus service to get to and from work. Students may need the bus service to get to and from a local technical school.

“It affects all ages,” she said.

As part of the study, a Stakeholder Advisory Committee met three times and a public opinion survey was conducted. Members of the planning team also conducted what they called “pop-up” meetings in the community to gather public input.

The findings of the study were presented to the Leavenworth City Commission last month.

According to the recommendations, the local demand and response service would be offered from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The estimated annual cost for this option is $400,000. But it is estimated that fare revenue for this type of service could pay for at least 8 percent, or about $32,000, of the operating cost.

When briefing city commissioners last month, Shawn Strate, planning manager for KCATA, said some funding from a state program may be available for the service.

“In any case, there needs to be some amount of local funding involved,” he said.

The fixed-route proposal would provide transportation to the Village West shopping area in Wyandotte County. From this location, residents could take buses that would take them to other areas of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

This service also would likely be available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The estimated annual cost for this service is about $225,000. But fare revenue for this type of service may cover about 12 percent, or $27,000, of the operating cost, according to the report.

During the Feb. 27 City Commission meeting, City Manager Paul Kramer said there needs to be collaboration between the city and county governments regarding potential bus service. He said the study had been a countywide study.

“It's still a county service that is starting off in the city of Leavenworth,” he said.

A presentation about the findings of the study has not been made to the Leavenworth County Commission.

In a reply to an email from the Times, County Administrator Mark Loughry questioned what the county’s involvement would be because the study focused on the city of Leavenworth.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR