Lawmakers seek more reviews of public transit options in Kansas

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

State lawmakers want studies and research to be completed on potential passenger rail service in Kansas.

The state’s transportation task force said the idea deserves a closer look after a number of conferences.

Wichita hasn’t seen an Amtrak train stop in the city since the late 70s. In a list of goals released last month, the task force listed the Heartland Flyer as a possibility. The passenger railroad currently runs from Dallas to Oklahoma City but some hope the new line would extend up to Newton.

“I think there’s a lot of great possibilities,” said Senator Carolynn McGinn, Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force. “They have to have tracks for staking, you have to move freight.”

The infrastructure could cost money, too. Right now, KDOT is studying the idea to see if it’s worth the cost and lawmakers want to see the results.

Amtrak hasn’t weighed in on the idea either, and the task force says it’s part of a wider focus on public transit through the state.

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