Amarillo is remarkably well-connected for a city our size, and our location in the middle of the South Central region often shortens the distance you need to go when traveling to another U.S. city. There are numerous direct daily flights from Amarillo to major hub airports with direct flights to foreign countries. You can get to Dallas-Ft. Worth Regional Airport in one hour; Houston Intercontinental in about an hour and a half; Denver International in an hour; Las Vegas in two hours; and LAX in four hours. As the largest city between Dallas and Denver, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City, Amarillo naturally has excellent connections to those cities.
There are some foreign destinations that are also easy to get to. You can leave Amarillo in the morning and be on the beach in Cancun shortly after lunch, or in St. Thomas in time for dinner.
The airlines serving Amarillo are American Eagle, Southwest, Continental Express, Great Lakes and United Express.
Amarillo is also a hub for major highways that connect us with the rest of the region: I-40 to Oklahoma City and Albuquerque; I-27 south to Lubbock and south Texas; U.S. 287 to Dallas and Fort Worth; U.S. 87 to northern destinations and Denver; and U.S. 60 to southwestern cities, including El Paso and Tucson.
There is one thing we don't have - traffic jams. You can travel to any location in the city in 15 to 20 minutes, any time of day. This engenders a greater sense of personal freedom.
Getting Around the Area
The Texas High Plains is primarily prairie land. The speed limit is 70 mph where posted and traffic isn't heavy.
People here are accustomed to driving to most of the places they typically go. Within town, it only takes a few minutes to get where you're going. But sometimes, you need to drive to Lubbock (1 hr., 45 minutes), want to go fishing at Lake Meredith (45 minutes), or plan to picnic at Palo Duro Canyon (20 minutes). Everything within the local area is easily accessible by motor vehicle, and that's most people's primary mode of transportation.
Amarillo's streets, thoroughfares and freeways are laid out well and can accommodate many vehicles. Even so, there are far fewer exhaust emissions than in a large city, and Amarillo's air is continually cleansed by a steady breeze.
Amarillo's Transit Department provides public bus transportation throughout the city. Amarillo City Transit (ACT) operates eight routes, Monday through Saturday, from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Service is provided to locations at the Medical Center, area shopping centers, and in most of the city's residential neighborhoods. Routes are designed to offer convenient service to the areas of greatest demand. The Department's goal is to provide bus service to within a quarter mile of all residences.
ACT also operates a specialized transportation service for elderly and handicapped passengers who can't physically ride regular transit buses. Door-to-door service is provided to those qualified passengers.
At present, ACT reports about 350,000 passengers per year, and the number is declining as fewer and fewer residents make use of public transportation; the vast majority of people have access to, and prefer to use, private transportation. A recent survey of residents by the Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Organization found that 95% never use public transit, 3% use it one or two times a week, and 2% use it more than three times a week. Despite the declining ridership, ACT has no plans to curtail its services.
Close-By Places To Go
Some of the most spectacular scenery in Texas is in Amarillo's backyard. Palo Duro Canyon stuns visitors who have never experienced it. The canyon is 1,200 feet deep, ten miles wide at places, and is a dramatic contrast to the perfectly flat horizon that surrounds it.