Wichita Transit among groups providing free relief from dangerous heat

The City of Wichita is offering free bus rides and promoting its pools and splash pads as other free or fairly inexpensive ways to keep cool.
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With little relief from triple-digit temperatures in the forecast, Wichita Transit is among groups in the city helping people find relief from the dangerous heat.

This week, a ride on a Wichita Transit bus, featuring a refreshing, 72-degree temperature inside, comes at no cost. It’s one of the ways to confront hot weather with comfort.

For regular city bus riders, the experience is more than just getting from point A to point B; it’s about catching their breath after being outside.

“A short little break,” a Wichita Transit rider named Jacob said.

The free rides on Wichita Transit continue through Saturday.

“Way to let people get out of the heat, ‘ride of relief’ as we say to stay safe and cool,” Wichita Transit Communications Specialist Nathaniel Hinkel said.

Wichita Transit said even if you don’t have a destination in mind and just need a place to cool down, you can get on the bus and ride the entire route.

The free bus rides are just one way the City of Wichita is working to make sure people have someplace to go to find relief from the heat. Libraries and neighborhood resource centers also offer free, air-conditioned relief.

A citywide effort to help those in need also is ramping up this week.

“We are doing medical care for anyone who is homeless and doesn’t have insurance,” said ICT Street Team Director of Operations Mandy Griffin. “We pass out supplies, bottled water, just trying to keep everybody healthy in the heat.”

ICT Street Team is a group of volunteer medical professionals who meet people experiencing homelessness where they’re at. The group is normally out twice per week but with this week’s heat, volunteers will be out every day.

“Just kind of driving around, looking for people. We have a 24-hour answering service, so we take calls there.”

ICT Street Team said if you see someone having severe health issues because of the heat, call 911.

Wichita Park and Recreation also reminds residents that recreation centers will be open for the public to cool off. A full list of recreation centers may be found at wichita.gov/parkandrec and pool and splash pad information may be found at wichita.gov/aquatics.

The city’s three Neighborhood Resource Centers will also be open through July 24 with water and air conditioning for anyone who needs it. You can find our neighborhood resource centers at:

  • Atwater, 2755 E. 19th St N.
  • Colvin, 2820 S. Roosevelt St.
  • Evergreen, 2601 N. Arkansas

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