Sedgwick County
6:41 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Wichita City Council Member Makes Case For Passenger Rail

Wichita city council member Pete Mitzner Wednesday presented a case for passenger rail service through the city to the Sedgwick county commissioners.

City council member Mitzner told the county commission passenger rail service is expanding across the nation and he and fellow council member James Clendenin believe Wichita could be a part of that expansion, especially considering there is existing unused rail infastructure downtown.

Mitzner asked the commissioners to approve his request to join other area cities and organizations in urging the state to join a research study examining passenger rail service. Texas is leading the study and Oklahoma has already joined.

“What we found, as I said before, is that the landscape has changed,” said Mitzner.

Wichita three years ago wasn’t as ready to handle this as it is now. Old Town is more mature, 20,000 people live and work in there, the arena is across the street, it is a small wedge shot from the train station.”

Mitzner says they looked into viability, sustainability, and economic return and Wichita stands to benefit.

Comissioners Karl Peterjohn and Richard Ranzau said they needed more information before they could vote to join the study.

The request passed with Jim Skelton, Dave Unruh and Commission Chair Tim Norton voting yes.