City of Wichita and area officials are participating this week in a regional conference that will promote efforts to re-establish passenger-rail service in the area. The three-day Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Conference (MIPRC) runs today through Wednesday (please see attached agenda).
Wichita City Council Member Pete Meitzner and Newton Mayor Barth Hague from 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning will present a history and status report of ongoing efforts to re-establish passenger rail service to Wichita. The presentation is titled "Spotlight on Kansas: Plans for Extension of the Heartland Flyer."
"We are happy to be the host city for this year's MIPRC annual conference," Meitzner said. "This passenger rail organization recognizes the value of the existing Southwest Chief route, and the expansion of the Heartland Flyer route to connect the southern states through Wichita and Newton."
The MIPRC is a nine-state interstate compact commission that promotes, coordinates and supports regional improvements to passenger rail service. Member states include Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin (Iowa, Ohio and South Dakota are also eligible to join). Enacted in 2000, MIPRC brings together state leaders from across the region to work towards developing and implementing a 21st century passenger rail system. Accomplishing that goal involves adding the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative network and additional state-supported corridors to the region's existing passenger rail infrastructure.
MIPRC has taken a primary role in advocating for the federal government to develop an enduring collaboration with states for passenger rail development similar to the partnership it has with states for other modes of transportation. MIPRC also works to ensure that Midwestern states have the support and interstate coordination needed to move forward with the region's passenger rail improvement plans.
Download Meeting Agenda