The U.S., and the middle of the country in particular, has a car-based culture. Most Americans who live outside of major cities have a car. Bus and train systems are either unavailable or not as extensive or convenient as they may be in other countries around the world.
Lawrence DOES have a bus system. It is free to ride with a KUID card. However, there is no service on Sundays and there is limited service in the summer, during university breaks, in the evening, and on Saturdays.
Unfortunately, transportation to places outside of Lawrence, such as Kansas City, is very limited and can be expensive. Taxis, Uber, and shuttle services are all available but must be arranged ahead of time. Sharing the costs of these services with several other people can make them more cost-effective.
See your handbook for more details on transportation services available to get around Lawrence and the surrounding area.