TOPEKA, KAN. – To make Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s newest aquatic center accessible to more people across the community, Topeka Metro is introducing a special shuttle service from Quincy Street Station to Midwest Health Aquatic Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays June 7 through Aug. 9. As part of Topeka Metro’s Kids Ride Free program, youth aged 18 and under will be able to board the shuttle starting at noon, ride to the aquatic center and swim for 3.5 hours and then ride the bus back to Quincy Street Station by 4:20 p.m. to catch another bus to their home bus stop.
“Our parks and aquatic centers are for the enjoyment of everyone in the community,” said John Knight, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation director. “While there is not a regular bus route as far west as 21st and Urish, this generous contribution by Topeka Metro means that youth from across our community will have access to our newest and exciting aquatic center.”
“When the Midwest Health Aquatic Center opened in 2016, 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,” said Topeka Metro General Manager Susan Duffy. “At Topeka Metro, our mission is to be a transportation solution provider, and with us coming into our 6th year of promoting Kids Ride Free, we thought we could incorporate a swim shuttle for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to such a wonderful water park.”
While the Topeka Metro shuttle makes Midwest Health Aquatic Center geographically accessible, Central Mechanical Construction Company has stepped forward to make it financially accessible by sponsoring the pilot program. A $2,500 donation made to the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation will cover admission costs for the introduction of the program. Regular admission is $8 for adults and $7 for youths age 2 and over.