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Region's Mayors Support Wichita Rail Service

Wichita Vice Mayor Pete Meitzner announced Friday a statement signed by Mayor Carl Brewer and the mayors of Oklahoma City and Kansas City in support of expanded passenger rail service through Wichita.

Passenger rail supporters are looking to close the 185-mile gap between Wichita and Oklahoma City in order to strengthen the network from San Antonio to Kansas City. Meitzner said that this connection is part of a strategy to grow and sustain the area economy.

"Passenger rail is one more venue that just kind of cements and secures I-35 and our city into this commerce corridor," Meitzner said.

The vice mayor said that transportation infrastructure is a key part of economic growth and that expanded regional rail service would represent another positive transportation development for Wichita.

"We've got the new airport being built, we have Southwest Airlines coming in in a month, and this is just one more facet that tells me that our city is-- it's okay to be a little bit of a big deal," Meitzner said.

A timeframe for the expanded service is not yet clear.

Fletcher Powell has worked at KMUW since 2009 as a producer, reporter, and host. He's been the host of All Things Considered since 2012 and KMUW's movie critic since 2016. Fletcher is a member of the Critics Choice Association.