Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force – Newton Meeting

Freight and Passenger Rail Stakeholder Meeting – In Newton, we hosted our first stakeholder meeting with a focus on freight and passenger rail. We saw a good turnout as stakeholders heard from industry leaders on the importance of rail in Kansas in terms of both moving people and the economic vitality it helps bring to communities. Presenters also discussed the importance of rail funding programs.  Key takeaways from the discussion were provided during a report given to the task force.

Local Programs and Lockbox Legislation – The Newton meeting focused on the importance of KDOT’s partnerships with local communities in improving local roads as well as lockbox legislation that has been implemented across the country to protect transportation funding. Presentations from the meeting can be found here.

Common Themes Continue During Local Testimony – During local testimony, stakeholders continued to show strong support for finishing T-WORKS projects and improving safety on highways (specifically K-96 in this region).  Stakeholders also voiced support for rail of all kinds in Kansas, notably discussing the importance passenger rail and short line rail.  Public transit was also discussed with an emphasis placed on transit in rural communities and the important role it plays in increasing access to health care and shopping, including groceries, in rural counties.

The next task force meeting will be at Garden City High School on Oct. 11. This meeting will focus on transportation safety. More information about future meeting locations and directions on how to provide testimony can be found here.

Aviation, Transit, and Bike/Pedestrian Stakeholder Meetings in Wichita. The next stakeholder meetings will be held in Wichita on Oct. 18. This meeting will be held from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. at Wichita State University before the task force meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. 

Additional topic-specific stakeholder meetings will be held at future meetings in Hays and Olathe.

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