Expect Free Tulsa Transit Bus Fares to End Around June 8

May 28, 2020

Tulsa Transit buses will be free to ride a little while longer.

The transit board on Wednesday approved an extension of the policy through June, though General Manager Ted Rieck will most likely end after the first week of the month.

Rieck said Tulsa Transit buses have perhaps been busier than they should have under the policy.

"We have a lot of people who ride just to joyride, crowding out people who actually need to get somewhere on the buses. So, we believe by charging fares, we’ll control who’s actually riding the bus," Rieck said.

Having too many people riding buses creates a problem under Tulsa Transit’s rider limit to allow for social distancing on board.

"It’s really easy to hit that 12 number, but you’ve got people on there who really shouldn’t be on there, don’t need to be on there," Rieck said.

Rieck said letting people continue to ride free will give regular riders a chance to buy their prepaid fare cards once stations reopen June 1.

The free fare policy was implemented primarily to limit drivers’ contact with passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic.