Wichita Transit will provide no-fare service on Thanksgiving weekend, running Friday through Saturday, thanks to a federal grant to support clean air efforts.
The weekend after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Typically, Transit buses would not operate that day after the holiday, known also as Black Friday. However, in 2013, Wichita Transit began providing no-fare service and experienced more riders. Though the buses operated on a reduced Saturday-like schedule on that Friday, the system carried 50 percent more riders than it does on a typical Saturday.
Wichita Transit aims to provide more rides this Thanksgiving weekend as it continues to promote using transit as alternative transportation for work, shopping, recreation and other trips around Wichita. By riding the bus, shoppers can save money on gas, avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot, and use Transit buses’ wireless internet to shop online during the ride. Wichita Transit provides convenient and direct connections to major retail centers on the east and west side of town.
Also, riders can enter to win one of two $50 Visa gift cards by taking a selfie on the bus either Friday or Saturday and posting it to Wichita Transit’s Facebook page (facebook.com/wichitatransit) or on Twitter (@WichitaTransit), with the hashtag #BlackFridayBusRide. The selfies must be posted by 11:59 p.m. Sunday to be eligible to win. Contest winners will be selected on Monday and announced via social media.
The federal grant – a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant – was awarded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Kansas Department of Transportation and administered by the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO).