October 28, 2010
Bus service that will connect Wichita and Salina and provide southwest Kansas a link to the national intercity bus network will begin Nov. 9.
The service, called the Beeline Express, will provide two round-trips daily between Salina and Wichita and one round-trip daily between Wichita and Pueblo, Colo. The new lines will be operated by Prestige Bus Lines of Wichita. Both routes are the result of agreements between the Kansas Department of Transportation and Prestige, with an additional agreement on the Wichita-to-Pueblo route between the Colorado Department of Transportation and Prestige.
“These routes will restore intercity bus service to southwest Kansas, which has lacked a connection to the national bus system for years,” said Joel Skelley, State Multimodal Planner for KDOT. “This route, along with the Wichita-to-Salina route, will provide an important service to Kansans who have no other travel options or simply prefer to ride, rather than drive.”
Federal funding is being used to purchase two new buses for each route and to assist with operating expenses such as fuel, personnel and maintenance. A portion of the funds come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under the Recovery Act, 15 percent of the rural transit allocation in each state must be used for intercity transit. That figure in Kansas is about $2 million.
According to Dave Rockey, owner of Prestige Bus Lines, the two new routes have been carefully planned with the goal of meeting both passenger comforts and freight hauling needs.
Cities that will be served by the Beeline Express include:
• Kansas - Wichita, Hutchinson, Dodge City, Garden City, Syracuse; Colorado - Granada, Lamar, Las Animas, La Junta, Rocky Ford, Fowler, Pueblo
• Wichita, Newton, McPherson, Lindsborg, Salina
For more information, a href="HTTP://WWW.beeline-express.com" target="_blank">click here