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Route for Tulsa's Route 66 Bus Rapid Transit Line Taking Shape

The route for Tulsa’s second bus rapid transit line is starting to shape up.

A study INCOG presented last week to the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission showed the Route 66 BRT would include segments on 11th Street from downtown to Harvard Avenue and on 21st Street from Garnett Road to Eastgate Metroplex.

Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commissioner Ted Reeds said that presents a good opportunity for commuters near the city’s eastern edge.

"Eastgate is all parking, and I know that that’s a terminus and it’s not that far from the Broken Arrow Expressway. What, 1, 1.5 miles, something like that. … You may as well bring more than just riders that live around there. Bring in, you know, bring in everybody, and they can take it in and take it back at night," Reeds said.

A steering committee will be tasked with helping to decide where the Route 66 BRT route will run north-south between 11th and 21st streets. Harvard, Yale, Sheridan, Memorial and Garnett are the options.

Planning experts will help by assigning scores to each route alternative based on their access to certain amenities.

John Tankard with the Tulsa Planning Office said once a route is selected, they’ll release a report showing which areas along it are best suited for mixed-use development.

"We’re also talking with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development to see if there’s any way we can kind of incentivize the rezoning with commercial revitalization funds or any other number of economic incentives," Tankard said.

When the Peoria Avenue Aero route was being developed, a study recommended denser development and more walkable areas around certain stations. The city actively reached out to property owners, offering to help them rezone their property free of charge.

The Route 66 BRT line could launch next year.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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