More than two dozen bus rapid transit stations will pop up along Peoria Avenue in the coming months.
City and Tulsa Transit officials broke ground on the first Aero station Tuesday at Centennial Park at 1028 E Sixth St. Service is expected to start in late August. Buses will run from 54th Street North to 81st Street South seven days a week.
Mayor G.T. Bynum said the service, dubbed Aero, will open up the city like never before.
"People will have access to job opportunities, to educational opportunities, to health care opportunities that they’ve never had before. In the past, you’d have to wait 45 minutes for a switch between a bus, now we’re talking every 10 to 15 minutes with bus rapid transit," Bynum said.
City Councilor Kara Joy McKee said there will also be new fixed bus routes.
"Some of the new routes that will be added to this will make it such that you can get on the bus at Woodland Hills Mall and get to the BRT and quickly go up and down the BRT to all of these wonderful locations, from the Osage Casino all the way down Peoria to Oral Roberts University and everything in between," McKee said.
Tulsa Transit board member James Wagner said there could be far-reaching effects from Tulsa becoming the 12th U.S. city with bus rapid transit service.
"Today, Tulsans spend about a quarter of their income on transportation, and if you think about shifting that investment over to something that is more wealth-building, I think we can change a generation or two or three with an investment like this," Wagner said.
Aero service is funded through Oklahoma’s first dedicated transit tax, which is part of the Vision Tulsa sales tax renewal passed in 2016.