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Basketball fans: You don’t need a car to get around downtown Wichita this week

The Q-Line trolley transports people all around Wichita’s city center for free.
The Q-Line trolley transports people all around Wichita’s city center for free. The Wichita Eagle

If you want to explore Wichita – or just get from your downtown hotel to Intrust Bank Arena – Wichita is stepping up its public transportation during tournament time.

Not only does Wichita have a fun and free trolly service called the Q-Line, but the city is also operating a special free shuttle bus service during the tournament.

The Q-Line

This service loads passengers on to free antique trolly cars and shuttles them between Old Town, Delano, Clifton Square and the Douglas Design District.

The Q-Line will be running extended hours from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday though Saturday.

To ride it, just look for a Q sign, or you can wait at one of the transit shelters along Douglas. The buses come by every 10 minutes or so. During the tournament, the Q will be running both its Douglas and its Old Town routes. (Both routes make stops at some of the same places, so make sure you’re getting on the right trolley.)

You can see links to the two maps at the downtownwichita.org.

The nearest pickup spot to Intrust Bank Arena is at the corner of Douglas and St. Francis, about a block North of Intrust Bank Arena’s north entrance.

The Douglas route, which is in orange on the map, will take you up and down Douglas, where many of the city’s restaurants and bars are located. It’ll also take you all the way to Clifton Square, home of another cluster of restaurants, and all the way to the Delano District, a popular dining and shopping area.

The Old Town Route, which is in blue on the map, will take you to the hip nightlife area of Old Town Square (which also has a movie theater) and over to some of the hotels just south of Kellogg.

When you’re ready to get off the trolley, just pull the little chord lining the top of the Q and it’ll pull over and drop you off. It’s polite to give the drive about one block’s notice.

Free shuttle buses

The shuttle bus service will pick up and drop off basketball fans continuously from the Wichita Transit center, northwest of the arena.

The shuttles will run from one hour before tip off to an hour after the end of the last game. The routes will take people to and from near the arena to several downtown-adjacent parking lots.

The city is encouraging people to park for free in three lots at 899 N. Seneca, 151 N. Waco and 300 S. Sycamore. The shuttles will run between those lots and the arena on Thursday and Saturday only.

Free parking is also available at the Old Town Garage, 250 N. Rock Island; the Coleman lot, 250 N. St. Francis, and the Old Town Square Garage, 350 N. Mead. Other parking lots in the area charge between $10 and $20. Street parking also is available throughout downtown. Bring quarters for the parking meters.

To see a map of the routes, visit the downtownwichita.org website.

Rent-a-bike

Wichita also has a nifty program called Bike Share ICT, which has racks of rent-able bicycles parked at strategic spots around downtown. You can rent a bike at one spot and return it at any other.

To rent the bikes – cruisers with baskets – you need to download the Zagster app on your phone. It costs $3 an hour. Find out where the bikes are at bikeshareict.com.

Still curious about Wichita? Here are more handy tips about this city:

What to do between games: Wichita has more must-sees than you'd think

Here's where to find the NCAA parties in Wichita this week

Wichita's dining critic tells you where to eat while in town for the NCAA tournament

Coming into town for the tournament? Here are the best bars and breweries in Wichita

A guide to Wichita shopping for NCAA tourney visitors

That flag you're seeing everywhere? It's a sign of Wichita pride

NCAA haters back off: Wichita is an interesting and fun place, and this list proves it

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