Campus/City Bus Service
The Lawrence and campus bus service is an integrated system of buses. All buses (with the exception of the K-10 Connector) are free to ride if you show your KUID card. If you or your dependents do not have a KUID card, you can ride the buses for a small fee. Buses run Monday through Saturday, with reduced schedules on Saturdays and during school breaks. You may also hear the city bus service referred to as “the T.”
Bicycles can be an economical and healthy way to move around Lawrence. Click here for more information on where to get one and laws to abide by when riding. Bicycles are subject to all traffic laws pertaining to automobiles.
While they are not common, Lawrence has various taxi services. You will not be able to hail a cab on the street, but you can call to have a taxi pick you up. While they can be convenient, taxis tend to be a bit pricey. You are also expected to tip taxi drivers 15% of the fare. Two popular taxi services are:
Recently, Uber has become a popular alternative to taxis. Instead of taxi cabs, Uber drivers go through an application process and background check to offer taxi-like services in their own cars. Prices vary depending on demand, but Uber is generally a cheaper option than taxis and tips are not expected.
KU has partnered with Enterprise to provide rental cars on campus. Cars can be rented for an hour, day, or overnight. For more information, click here.
Buying a Car
Having a car can make it much easier to move around Lawrence and the surrounding area. However, there are many things to consider when purchasing a car, see below.
Driving Laws/Licensing by State
Driving laws and licensing varies by state. If you are moving to or visiting another state, it is important to review their laws to make sure that you are driving safely and legally.
Safe Driving/Driving Laws
It is very important to drive safely and obey all traffic laws. This will help keep both you and those around you safe. For a complete description of Kansas driving laws, refer to the Kansas Driving Handbook.
Some of the most important things to consider to ensure safe driving are:
- Don’t speed-never drive faster than the maximum posted speed limit.
- “STOP” signs means stop-come to a complete stop at all stop signs even if you do not see any other cars, and go only when it is your turn to go and the way is clear.
- Anticipate and accept traffic light changes - don’t speed up to beat a yellow light.
- Right turn on a red light only after coming to a complete stop, and only if the way is clear of other cars and pedestrians, unless there is a sign prohibiting a turn on a red light at the intersection.
- Use your turn signals before you turn a corner, change driving lanes, enter a parking stall, or pull away from the curb when parallel parked.
- Don’t follow too close-allow one car length for each 10 miles per hours of speed between you and the car in front of you.
- Watch the road around you at all times and expect that cars ahead of you may stop suddenly.
- Watch carefully for pedestrians and yield to them-walkers have the right-of-way.
- Be alert for bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters-they are sometimes hard to see.
- Pay attention to what you are doing, as well as to what other drivers around you are doing-don’t do other things like texting, talking on your cell phone, snapchat, eating, or drinking while you are driving.
- NEVER drink alcohol and drive.
- When driving on a multiple lane highway, only drive in the left lane to pass-otherwise drive in the right lane.
- Never pass another car if there is a solid yellow line on your side of the center.
- Buckle up-be sure you and all of your passengers are wearing seat belts even if they are sitting in the back seat.
- Know and obey all traffic laws and regulations.
Careless, inattentive, or reckless driving can result in a ticket, an expensive fine, and loss of your driver’s license. It could also cause an accident or worse!
Every year, international students are injured or killed because of their driving or that of the driver of the car in which they are riding.
The “rules of the road” may be quite different here in the US than what you may be used to in your home country. Becoming familiar with some basic driving practices will help keep you safe, will enhance your driving pleasure, and will hopefully prevent your involvement in an unfortunate situation.
If you have an accident...
- Stop your car and turn it off.
- Check for injuries and help anyone who is hurt, but do not move them.
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Get the name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information for the other driver(s) involved.
- Obtain names and contact information for any witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene, if possible, and note anything special about conditions that may have caused the accident (road, weather, etc.).
- Ask the investigating police officer how to get a copy of the accident report.
- Notify your insurance company.
Do not drive without valid car insurance!
The consequences of careless driving can be terrible. If you are driving, be safe. If you are a passenger, make sure the driver is being safe. Your life depends on it!
If the police should stop you...
- Move to side of the road and stop.
- Stay in your car --- do not get out unless asked to do so.
- The officer will come to your car.
- Keep your hands where they can be seen.
- Be prepared to show your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and car registration document.
If you or your dependents are getting a driver’s license for the first time, the youngest age to get an instruction permit (to begin learning to drive) is 14 years old. For a completely non-restricted driver’s license, you must be at least 17 years old. Different driver’s licenses have different requirements. Please refer to this link to see a complete list of requirements. For a complete list of paper work required, refer to this link. To get your license, take the necessary paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will need to take a written test on driving laws in order to get a license, so be sure to read through the Kansas Driving Handbook before going to the DMV.
If you have a license from another state and have just moved to Kansas, you have 90 days to trade your old license for a Kansas license.
Types of Licenses
Driver’s permit/instruction permit: allows you to practice driving under certain restrictions.
Restricted driver’s license: allows young drivers to drive under certain restrictions.
Non-commercial driver’s license: allows you to drive personal cars without restrictions.
Commercial driver’s license: allows you to drive commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks.
Motorcycle license: allows you to drive a motorcycle.
Learning to Drive
There are two main ways to learn to drive: driver’s education or private instruction. There are many different options of driving schools for driver’s education. These classes will include both classroom (where they teach you about traffic laws, safe driving, how to handle different driving conditions such as highway traffic and bad weather, etc.) and behind-the-wheel training. If you attend driver’s education before applying for a learner’s permit and present your completion certificate to the DMV, they will waive your written test.
If you choose to learn to drive on your own, you must first obtain a learner’s permit from the DMV. When practicing, you must be with a licensed adult (at least 21 years old) at all times. If you are under 18, whether you go through driver’s education or learn to drive on your own, you are expected to practice driving for 50 hours before getting your non-restricted driver’s license.
The state of Kansas requires that all car owners have liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured and underinsure motorist insurance. In addition to this, many drivers choose to have collision, comprehensive, towing and labor, and rental reimbursement insurance as well. The website for the Department of Motor Vehicles can be used to learn more about Kansas' car insurance requirements. Once you have purchases car insurance, you will be given an insurance card. It is important to keep that card in your car at all times. If you are pulled over by a police officer, you will be required to show it to them. Generally, you receive a new insurance card every year, so be sure to keep the most updated card in your car. Insurance prices depend on many factors, so be sure to contact multiple insurance companies to find the best combination of price and coverage.
Children must be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) until they are at least eight years old or weigh at least 80 pounds. Infants less than 20 pounds or under one year old must be secured in a rear-facing car seat. Children under 4 years old are encouraged to stay in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible. Once children are unable to ride in rear-facing car seats, they are required to ride in a booster seat until they are eight years old or weigh 80 pounds. There are several places to purchase car seats in Lawrence including: Target, Wal-Mart, The Blue Dandelion and Doodlebugs. If you contact the fire department, they will install your car seat into your car to make sure it is installed properly. Car seats should always be rear-facing and in the backseat. Facing a car seat in the forward direction or having it in the passenger seat can be deadly if you get in an accident.
Parking on Campus
If you are planning on parking your car on campus during the day, you will need a parking permit. Many parking lots do not require a permit after a certain time or on weekends, but the exact rules depend on the lot. Each parking lot has a sign at the entrance that states its restrictions, so be sure to check. For more information on parking and parking permits, please refer to KU’s parking and transit website.
As both a pedestrian and a driver it is important to understand pedestrian laws to make sure everyone stays safe.
If there is a pedestrian light at a crosswalk, you may only cross the road when it is white. You may finish crossing the street if the signal changes while you are still crossing the street.
If there is no pedestrian light, drivers should stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Pedestrians should be careful, however, not to start crossing the street if it could be dangerous.
If there is not a marked crosswalk, pedestrians should stop for drivers to pass.
Pedestrians must cross all lanes of traffic at one time. Do not cross one lane of traffic, wait in the middle of the road for another lane’s traffic to pass you, and then cross that lane. Drivers will not know what to do if you stop in the middle of the road.
If you cross the street at a location other than the crosswalk between intersections that have traffic-lights, it is considered jaywalking. Jaywalking is illegal, and you can get a ticket for jaywalking if caught by the police.
Pedestrians should always use sidewalks if they are available. Avoid walking in the street, especially if it is anything larger than a neighborhood road. If there is no sidewalks available and you must walk in the street, always walk facing traffic.
Pedestrians should stop for emergency vehicles.