TOPEKA (KSNT) – In a meeting between the Topeka Metro and Topeka Public Schools on Wednesday, the decision was made to restore two city bus routes used by students that were set to be discontinued.
Topeka Metro had previously announced that the West 10th Special bus routes would end on Aug. 10. Students at Topeka High School and Highland Park High School uses these routes to get home after school.
This decision has been reversed, according to Topeka Metro general manager Bob Nugent. He says the decision is temporary. The bus routes were only extended for the next month, at which point they’ll be reviewed again. The reasoning Nugent gave for discontinuing the bus routes stemmed from the historical use of the West 10th Special bus routes.
“Those bus routes were started several years ago as a way of adding to our existing services,” Nugent said. “This is a one-trip route to take care of overloads. Due to COVID, we are now at 65% of the ridership that we had before COVID.”
With a drop in ridership, the need for the West 10th Special bus routes declined. Nugent says other existing bus routes, like the California Route or the West 10th Route, could have taken on riders from the discontinued routes.
“There still may be a lot of student ridership, but the rest of our service can absorb it because our ridership has gone down,” Nugent said.
After receiving feedback from student’s parents and staff at Topeka 501, Topeka Metro decided to reimplement the bus routes for another month in an effort to relieve the anxiety of those impacted by the discontinuation. Nugent says they plan to meet again with the school district September to determine what happens next.