May 5, 2023
The Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve EMBARK service changes affecting all Oklahoma City bus routes and implementing the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in the fall.
The OKC Moves service changes will go into effect in conjunction with the rollout of EMBARK’s new RAPID service, a high-frequency BRT system that will transport thousands of residents and employees to major destinations through an enhanced rider experience using advanced technology and service models. The RAPID NW line will connect the downtown area and northwest Oklahoma City along Classen Blvd. and Northwest Expressway.
“Over the last decade, we have worked with the COTPA board and City Council to dramatically improve and grow the transportation options available in our region,” Assistant City Manager and EMBARK Administrator Jason Ferbrache said. “With the launch of RAPID and the OKC Moves initiative, we’re on vision to becoming a region with world-class transportation accessible to all.”
Schedules for all Oklahoma City bus routes are being adjusted to improve the timing, and of transit service. Significant changes will also be made to several routes to improve efficiency, serve majord estinations, and integrate RAPID NW into the region’s transit system.
The approved service changes include:
Combining Route 003 and Route 005 to connect northeast and northwest Oklahoma City, with the new Route 003 linking￼destinations along the Memorial Rd. corridor like the Quail Springs area and Mercy Hospital. This also removes duplication of new RAPID service along Classen Blvd. currently served by Route 005.
Extending Route 008 to Northwest Expressway and Council Rd. to connect customers with more shopping and housing opportunities in the far northwestern part of the city.
Streamlining Route 024 to improve on-time performance, provide more daily trips, and enhance transfer opportunities on the express service between Norman and Oklahoma City while continuing to serve major destinations like the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma City’s central business district.The route will operate every two hours between 5 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
As the region grows, EMBARK continues to improve its existing transit services while expanding the travel options within the community. The recent, year-long OKC Moves Bus Study evaluated the agency’s current operations and gathered significant community input from customers, bus operators, business leaders and community stakeholders. The study laid out short-term and long-term recommendations for maximizing the efficiency of Oklahoma City’s bus system and planning for future expansion.
During the spring public engagement introducing the OKC Moves service changes, EMBARK conducted five community meetings,11 pop-up outreach events, and a formal public hearing at the April 7 COTPA Board meeting, in addition to seeking public feedback through the embarkok.com and its social media channels.This outreach effort generated feedback from the public through 3,358 engagements and the submission of more than 60 public comments.
The adopted service are short-term recommendations expected to be implemented within EMBARK’s existing budget. The long-term recommendations in the OKC Moves Bus Plan will guide the continued growth and enhancement of public transportation services. The City of Oklahoma City MAPS 4 program and EMBARK are currently planning for two additional RAPID Bus Rapid Transit lines, and the Regional Transportation Authority of Oklahoma City is currently conducting planning studies for commuter rail and other rapid transit connecting Edmond, Norman, and Oklahoma City.
Changes to EMBARK Norman bus service are also expected to launch in this fall as part of the GoNorman Transit plan adopted by the City of Norman in December 2022.
A full summary and detailed information on the service changes is available at www.embarkok.com/okcmoves.
EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City.
EMBARK's vision is to be world-class transportation that is accessible to all, and all want to access it. EMBARK's mission is to be a self-sustaining transportation network that removes barriers of location and socioeconomic status, while elevating the status and use of public transportation so all of central Oklahoma can safely and quickly reach their destination.