October 6, 2021
EMBARK leadership presented a set of recommendation scenarios, developed from the OKC Moves Regional Bus Study to its board of trustees summarizing several months of market research, technical analysis, and customer and staff input. EMBARK is now encouraging further feedback from Central Oklahoma residents on the proposed transit system improvement scenarios before later developing a comprehensive report on expected enhancements to the EMBARK bus system.
EMBARK initiated the OKC Moves Regional Bus Study last winter to assess the existing transit service and explore opportunities for improvement. After evaluating current ridership and projected demand, land use, and other important factors, as well as an initial survey and community meetings to gather public feedback, the consultant reviewed preliminary recommendations to EMBARK’s Board of Trustees on September 9.
“We have three proposed scenarios to improve the bus transit system,” said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK Administrator. “With the industry expertise of Nelson\Nygaard and HNTB, the consultant team has spent months constructing these scenarios to evolve the bus system and better serve our customers in Central Oklahoma”
The “Radial Scenario” primarily focuses on downtown OKC where most bus route transfers take place. This scenario would include multiple route extensions to serve growing areas such as Del City, South OKC and Northeast OKC to Northwest Expressway.
The “Grid Scenario” focuses on direct service along major north/south and east/west arterials. More bus route transfers would take place outside of downtown as new east-west and north-south corridors are served.
The “Hybrid Scenario” adds east/west and north/south routes in addition to keeping most downtown service with frequency improvements in key corridors.
Ultimately all three scenarios address improving on-time route performance, expanding night service hours, broadening service areas to include Del City, The Village, and Moore, and the Will Rogers World Airport, and support ongoing regional transit efforts like the OKC Streetcar, Bus Rapid Transit, and RTA Commuter Rail.
The community is encouraged to visit the project website okcmoves.org where they can review the transit recommendations and take a survey to give feedback. The public will also have the chance to provide direct feedback during virtual Town Halls, to be held on Tuesday, October 12, at 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Check okcmoves.org for instructions on how to join the Town Hall via Zoom. The same presentation will be presented at both meeting times.
“More input from the Oklahoma City community helps us better understand the public’s needs, and that is vital in improving transit. We encourage everyone, not just current riders, to take the survey, participate in the upcoming Town Hall, and help us develop a transit network that is accessible to all of our communities,” said Jason Ferbrache.
Once completed, the comprenensive regional bus study will result in an updated strategic plan to optimize and expand transit services in Oklahoma City over the next decade as funding becomes available. The final report is expected by the end of the year and will serve as a roadmap for future public transit expansion, support economic growth, and grow ridership and adoption of sustainable transportation.
Information to join the Virtual Town Hall is as follows: