What are the Public Transportation Options in Wichita?
Is it possible to get around Wichita without a car? Let’s take a look at Wichita’s public transportation options.
Wichita Public Bus System
The Wichita Transit System operates 48 public buses that travel 18 fixed routes around the city. It works on a “hub and spoke” model, with inbound buses traveling towards the central Downtown Transit Center, and outbound buses traveling away from it. If you need to get around in the central part of the city or get to Wichita’s most popular destinations, chances are there’s a bus that will get you there.
There are some gaps in bus coverage, especially in the west, southwest and southeast parts of the city. Wichita Transit has added a Westside Feeder service to accommodate passengers on the west side where there aren’t bus routes. There are also bike racks on all buses, so you’ve got a way to span the distance to and from the stop.
The main downside to the Wichita bus system? There’s currently no bus service on Sunday, or late at night. So, if you work during those times, are headed to church, or want to make a late-night food run, you have to find a different option.
If the bus works for your schedule, you’ll find a lot to like. It’s an inexpensive way to commute, especially if you get a monthly pass. When the traffic gets heavy or the weather gets weird, you can sit back and ride without the hassle of driving. All buses offer free Wi-Fi, so you can get some work done or crush some candy during your trip. You can even plan and track your bus trip with Wichita Transit’s MyStop app.
ADA Paratransit (Van) Service
Wichita’s fixed-route bus service is ADA-accessible, with a wheelchair lift or ramp on all buses, and driver announcements of stops and major intersections. Still, it may not be an option if you have a disability or condition that, for example, prevents you from being able to get to a bus stop. That’s where ADA Paratransit comes in.
It’s a door-to-door van service for people who have disabilities that prevent them from using the bus for some or all of their travel needs. The modern vans are wheelchair-accessible and operated by specially trained drivers. Paratransit is available Monday-Saturday.
You must meet certain requirements and submit an application to become eligible for ADA Paratransit Services. You can find the application and more information here.
Wichita Q-Line Trolley
Hop aboard the Q-Line Trolley for fun and free transportation around Downtown, Delano, Old Town, Douglas Design District and Clifton Square. There are four routes that run at various times and days (Monday-Saturday), including lunch routes during the week and late night routes on Friday and Saturday.
The Q is perfect for catching a ride to a restaurant over your lunch hour, or to an event or club in the evenings. Visiting Wichita and staying in the downtown area? Ride the Q to museums, entertainment venues and other attractions. Trolleys run about every 10 minutes, and you can track them in real time using Wichita Transit’s MyStop app.
Bike Share ICT
Have you seen the racks of white-and-blue bikes around the downtown area lately? Bike rental has come to Wichita! You can commute or see the sights while getting some exercise. You use a program app to buy a pass (one-time, day or monthly), unlock a bike at a Bike Share station, log your ride, then return and lock the bike at any station when you’re done. There are stations along the Q-Line route, near attractions like INTRUST Bank Arena, Century II, Exploration Place, Old Town, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, and the historic Delano District.
If you do plan to bike around Wichita (either on a rental or your own), you’ll need to get familiar with the city’s biking laws and the safest available routes. Wichita has been rolling out more designated bike lanes, but as of yet they’re still mainly confined to the Downtown and College Hill areas. These maps show their location, plus recreational bike paths and low-traffic streets.
So, is it possible to get around Wichita’s urban sprawl without a car?
If it’s during the week, and you’re not traveling to and from the outskirts of the city, then the answer is yes. If you need to get to destinations and attractions in the downtown area, you’ve got plenty of options. But if it’s Sunday or nighttime, you’re probably looking at pounding the pavement, using a ride hailing service, or asking a friend for a ride.