The Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority is lining up supporters in its quest for a $25 million federal grant to create a hub at Topeka’s airport that would include local and interstate bus operations, a shuttle, and rail service.

Proponents are seeking support from Kansas’ congressional delegation for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. The stimulus is earmarked for capital investments.

A decision on the grant is expected this month or next, local officials said.

“This project and its connectivity will be critical to future sustainable growth,” Jim Ogle of Downtown Topeka said last week in a letter to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

“Opportunities like this only come around once in a lifetime,” Ogle said. “Our time is now.”

Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George told Roberts the hub would be crucial in attracting business to Topeka.

“This facility represents a much-needed regional structure to converge all modes and allow our area to continue competing in the 21st century,” he wrote.

If Topeka were granted the funds, the local match share of $5 million would come from land donations rather than cash, officials said.

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