Transportation

Doug Kerr, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback’s three options for balancing the state budget include taking about $185 million from the highway fund.

As a result, the Kansas Department of Transportation is holding off on 25 major projects, including two in Reno and Harvey counties.

Fourteen projects will be delayed in fiscal year 2017 at an estimated construction cost of $271 million; 9 projects are on hold in the fiscal year 2018 at an estimated construction cost of $247 million; and two projects are on hold in fiscal year 2019 at an estimated construction cost of $35 million.

Adam Moss / Flickr Creative Commons

Amtrak service is returning to Wichita for the first time since 1979. The company has announced new bus routes to both Newton and Oklahoma City.

According to Amtrak, the last time one of their trains had direct service to Wichita was in 1979, when the Lone Star route traveled from Houston to Chicago. Those hoping for train service to come back will have to settle for a bus.

The company announced two bus routes will connect Wichita to the Southwest Chief train, which rolls through Newton, and the Heartland Flyer, which goes through Oklahoma City.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport received high marks in a new survey that ranks customer satisfaction. As KMUW’s Nadya Faulx reports, travelers rated the airport using a mobile app on their phones.

Eisenhower came in fourth among small-hub airports in this year’s survey, which was conducted between November 2015 and February 2016.

Chris Waits / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s road construction season and the Kansas Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution in construction zones.

Max Dirks is a KDOT worker from Hays who was in a close call when a semi truck came into a work zone too fast.

“I stepped over into the other lane to try to get the semi to stop and I saw he wasn’t going to get stopped. I radioed the other flag men and just dove into the ditch to avoid being hit,” Dirks said.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on an Amtrak train derailment that injured 28 people near Cimarron, Kansas, last month. Damages to the train and railroad will cost about $1.4 million.

The train was carrying 130 passengers and 14 crew members as it traveled from Los Angeles to Chicago. It derailed just after midnight on March 14.

Sean Sandefur

Wichita Transit has rolled out changes to its bus routes and fares. The new system is meant to help buses run on time and get riders to their destination quicker, despite a limited budget that won’t allow service at night or on Sundays. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on the new normal for Wichita’s bus riders.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Wichita Transit is rolling out changes to its bus system this Saturday, and will offer a week of free rides so people can get used to the routes.

After holding a series of public forums to gather input from riders, Wichita Transit has made a number of tweaks.

One change is so-called designated stops. In addition to the current bus stops, thousands of street signs have been added along routes so riders can flag down buses closer to home or work.

They’ve also added a route on Grove Street and extended the ones that run on both 13th and 21st Street.

National Transportation Safety Board

A truck that ran into a section of BNSF Railway track, deflecting the track up to 14 inches, may be a cause of the Amtrak derailment that happened near Dodge City early Monday.

  

From the AP:

A truck used to deliver feed to a business where cattle are fattened hit the train track and shifted it at least a foot before an Amtrak train derailed in southwest Kansas and injured at least 32 people, an investigator said.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board say an agricultural truck collided with railroad tracks near Cimarron, Kan., prior to an Amtrak train derailing in the same area.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

An Amtrak train carrying more than 140 people derailed near Dodge City early Monday morning. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, at least 30 people were injured.

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