During a ceremony Thursday at Midwest Health Aquatic Center, 2201 SW Urish Rd, the Topeka Metro bus service and Shawnee County Parks and Recreation announced they were kicking off a free shuttle service. The pilot program will arrange for Topeka Metro buses to take customers age 18 and under from its Quincy Street Station, 820 S.E. Quincy, to the Aquatic Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“This generous contribution by Topeka Metro means that youth from across our community will have access to our newest and exciting aquatic center,” said county parks and recreation director John Knight.
The shuttle is part of the Kids Ride Free program that Topeka Metro does every summer. In addition, a donation from Central Mechanical will cover admission costs for all children riding the shuttle.
Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro general manager, said youths will be able to board the free shuttle starting at noon and ride free to the aquatic center for the afternoon. They can then ride the bus back to Quincy Station, arriving there at 4:20 p.m., and can then catch another bus to go nearer to their home.
The free shuttle service is now active and will be offered through August 9. There was currently no other bus route going as far west as 21st and Urish where Midwest Health Aquatic Center is located.
“We often heard from youth who lamented that they would not be able to attend Midwest Aquatic Center because it was so far from where they live and the buses did not provide service in that area,” Duffy said.