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Home > Economic Development > Wichita Metro Profile > Transportation
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Getting Around the Metro Area

Located in the middle of the heartland, Wichita has access to it all. Our central location offers ideal land and air transportation conditions, simplifying business aspects such as travel plans and product distribution.

I-35, the only interstate in North America to connect Canada, the United States and Mexico, runs straight through the city, intersecting with I-70 via I-135 about 90 miles north of the city and intersecting with I-40 about 150 miles to the south.

Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, the largest commercial and general aviation complex in Kansas. Fair Fares, a public-private partnership that operates a business travel pledge program, has attracted two quality discount airlines to Mid-Continent (Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines).

The airport's 3,500 acre facilities include three runways (10,300 feet/7,300 feet/6,300 feet) that accommodate all types of aircraft. Construction is currently underway to create a new terminal building, designed to meet the future needs of the Wichita community and scheduled for completion in 2015.

Interstate System

I-35 runs north-south through the center of the Wichita metro, connecting with major east-west interstates I-70 via I-135 approximately 90 miles north and I-40 approximately 150 miles south. Wichita is also served by federal highways US-54 and US-81.

I-35 has become a crucial part of our community as trade continues to increase, leading Wichita to pay special attention to its interstates. The Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP) was passed in 1999 and is a 10-year, $12.6 billion program focusing on improving our transportation infrastructure. Scheduled improvements include new highways and upgrades to existing highways.

As manufacturing is one of the leading contributors to our economy, Wichita has evolved into a major trucking hub, due especially to our region's close proximity to major markets. Sixteen national and regional interstate common carriers operate terminal facilities here.

Public Transit

An average one-way travel time to work of about 17 minutes (10 minutes shorter than the national average) encourages most Wichitans to commute by personal automobile. Less than .5 percent of Wichita 's commuters use public transportation.

The Wichita Transit is 100 percent fully ADA compliant and accessible, currently operating 18 bus routes which are conveniently located within one-quarter mile of 90 percent of Wichita 's residents. Buses run every half-hour during rush hours and on weekdays, 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (no Sunday service). The fare for a one-way commute is $1.

The Q-Line is a free trolley shuttle service operating during peak evening hours to connect you to restaurants, bars, hotels and performance venues throughout downtown. For complete hours and routes visit http://www.downtownwichita.org/get_around-maps.php

Rail Service

Transit times to contiguous U.S. destinations range from 1 to 5 days. Given sufficient volume, dedicated trains can be scheduled that could save two days from the transit time to either coast. Reciprocal switching for smooth and efficient rail traffic is provided by Wichita Terminal Association Railroad. Public truck-rail cross dock facilities are available. Nearest truck-rail intermodal service: Kansas City (200 miles.) Wichita is served by three carriers:

Class I
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
Union Pacific Railroad

Class III
Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad

Passenger rail service
Travelers can catch the rail daily on Amtrak's Southwest Chief (Los Angeles-Chicago) from the Newton station, 25 miles north of Wichita.

Port Access

Wichita is within 200 miles of two of the U.S. Inland Waterway System ports:

Tulsa Port of Catoosa (ranked ninth in the Top 20 Inland U.S. Ports for 2003) - located 170 miles southeast of Wichita, with access to the Mississippi River via the Arkansas River.

Port of Kansas City - located 200 miles northeast of Wichita , with access to the Mississippi River via the Missouri River.

Section Highlights:

The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC): 

  • Specializes in one-stop project assistance to businesses interested in expanding and locating in the area.
  • Is a public-private partnership that works with companies to maximize the advantages of being in the Wichita area.
  • Provides project management that mobilizes all available resources including site information, growth and expansion incentives and other resources as required.
  • Markets the region to targeted industry sectors throughout the world with a focus on the region’s manufacturing excellence, skilled workforce, supplier network, research capacity, skilled training opportunities and operational affordability.


David Bossemeyer
VP-Business Development
Aeroflex Wichita, Inc. AetnaAirbus North America Engineering, Inc. Armstrong Chamberlin AT&T Berry Companies, Inc. BKD, LLPBuilding Trades Council of Central & Western Kansas Butler Community College Capital Enterprises, Inc. Carlos O'Kelly'sCNH Industries Clear Channel Media + EntertainmentConco ConstructionCornejo & Sons Cox Machine, Inc. Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc. Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc. Dillon Food Stores Dondlinger & Sons Construction Company Inc.Eby Construction Co. Envision, Inc. Friends University GLMV Architecture, Inc. Golden Plains Credit UnionHouse of SchwanHigh Touch Technologies Hyatt Regency Wichita IBEW L.U. 271 - Electrical Workers IMA, Inc. Johnson ControlsKAKE-TV Kansas Health Foundation KSNW-Channel 3 Law Company Inc. LDF CompaniesLegacy BankL K ArchitectureLubrication Engineers, Inc. Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P. Metro Courier, Inc. MKEC Engineering Consultants, Inc. Murfin Drilling Company Inc. Newman University Occidental Management, Inc. Pioneer Balloon Company Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 441 Poet Ethanol Products Range Oil Company, Inc. Ritchie Exploration, Inc. Rusty Eck Ford Security 1st Title LLC Slawson Real Estate Company Star Lumber & Supply Co. Inc.TCK - The Trust Company of Kansas TECT Aerospace UCI United Way of the Plains Value PlaceVisit WichitaWichita Area Assn. of Realtors Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) Wichita Business Journal Wichita Community Foundation Wichita Downtown Development Corporation Wichita State UniversityWorkforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc.Yingling Aviation