WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Today during a public meeting and open house, officials unveiled changes to both the city’s trolley system and bus routes.
Officials with Wichita transit said beginning May 13th the city’s trolley system, known as the Q-Line will expand outside of downtown. The transit director said this will benefit visitors and residents. The changes will also help prepare the city to handle large scale events, such as the NCAA tournament.
“The real spine of the route, the heart and soul of the route, will be a route that operates from Lawrence-Dumont and Delano, east on Douglas as far as College Hill,” said Wichita Transit Director, Steve Spade.
Spade said the expansion will connect neighborhoods to downtown as well as help with large scale events that come to Wichita, something he says it didn’t do in the past.
“I think we figured it out during Garth Brooks, we didn’t have adequate, regular Q-Line service operating,” said Spade. “We had to add a lot of extra vehicles to handle the need.”
Spade also said with the NCAA tournament coming to Wichita in 2018 and 2021, they looked at two cities who have hosted the tournament in years past- Des Moines and Knoxville – both utilized their downtown shuttle services.
“So you can go to the game, leave the game, go to dinner, come back, you never have to leave and it’ll be a frequent enough service to where we can handle the high demand time,” said Spade.
Spade also said the money for the expansion will come from three places – the city, federal grant money, and private businesses.
Right now, Spade says, the Q-Line runs two trolleys every 20 minutes.
Will the expanded route, he says they will now run trolleys every 10 minutes, with up to six trolleys.
Starting May 13th, the Q-Line will run the extended routes from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday.
Spade says on Saturdays, they will run the Old Town from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Douglas route will run summer hours on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m, May through September.
Between the months of October and April, they will run winter hours on Saturdays from 12 p.m. until 1 a.m.