Mass Transit

Tulsa Transit Studies Bus Access For Homeless

May 3, 2021

Tulsa Transit Authority says they are trying to improve access to public transportation for the homeless.

Staff at Tulsa Transit studied how the bus is working for the homeless by assessing routes from places like shelters and encampments to medical facilities.

Assistant Director for Service Development Chase Phillips said knowing the time spent on a ride was critical to understanding problems. 

Pilot Program Explores On Demand Rides For Public Transit

Apr 28, 2021

On demand rides may soon be part of Tulsa’s public transportation strategy.

 

Steve Wilkes from IBI Group, a consulting company, gave a presentation to the Tulsa Transit Authority Board yesterday. Wilkes suggested an on demand pilot program for Nightline/Sunday Service routes 110 and 401.  

 

Transit Authority Approves Funds for Gathering Place Shuttle

Apr 28, 2021
Gathering Place

  

A Gathering Place shuttle is tentatively set to resume service on Memorial Day weekend. The Tulsa Transit Authority yesterday approved a shuttle contract with First Transit.

 

Naaja Jefferies, Director of Contracted Services, said attendance at The Gathering Place has exceeded expectations since its September 2018 opening.  

 

 

  

"For 2021 there is even less parking available on site. Further, people without access to personal transportation need access to the park," said Jefferies. 

 

Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has received $154 million from the federal coronavirus relief package passed in December.

State Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz plans to put a portion of that into the agency’s asset preservation fund. He said the timing of a cash infusion for road repairs couldn’t be better.

"I can’t emphasize enough the impact that two weeks of subfreezing weather conditions are going to have on our pavement structures for the springtime," Gatz told the Oklahoma Transportation Commission last week.

State officials are looking for public feedback on Oklahoma’s first public transit plan through late November.

Oklahoma Transit Authority Executive Director Mark Nestlen said it represents a significant investment to move Oklahoma far up the national rankings, much like the plan to address structurally deficient bridges in the state.

Tulsa Transit

Tulsa Transit’s fixed-route buses and Lift service will not collect fares during the month of April.

The intent is to minimize the contact drivers have with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This isn’t lowering fares to try to get more people to take the bus. This is lowering — getting rid of fares to limit contact and limit spread or risk of spread of the virus," said Tulsa Transit Board member Adam Doverspike.

General Manager Ted Rieck said not collecting fares will mean less risk to Tulsa Transit office workers who handle cash, too.

On this edition of ST, an interesting chat with Tulsa Transit Interim General Manager Debbie Ruggles. In a joint appearance, City of Tulsa and Tulsa Transit officials recently announced a new bus rapid transit line for our community, which will run mainly along Peoria Avenue. It will be known as the Aero system. Service on the Aero -- which will run in rotation from Peoria and 36th Street North to 81st and Lewis -- is expected to start in Spring 2019.

Our guest on ST is Chuck Marohn, an engineer based in Minnesota and member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He's also the founder and president of Strong Towns, a nationwide media nonprofit that, per its website, supports "a model of development that allows America's cities, towns, and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting conversation with Gabe Klein, an entrepreneur and urban-development advocate who was formerly the DOT director under Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, and also the Director of the District of Columbia DOT under Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Prior to working in local government, Klein worked at a few notable start-ups, including Zipcar. On our show today, he talks about his new book, "Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun." About this guidebook, Ray LaHood, the former U.S.

This evening -- Tuesday the 8th -- beginning at 6pm, Oklahoma Watch, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to both in-depth reporting and investigative journalism vis a vis public-policy issues, will host a free-to-the-public forum on the future of mass transit in the greater Tulsa area. The event will take place at the Central Center, near 6th and Peoria.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are talking about the Vision program, which was recently approved by the Tulsa City Council in unanimous vote, and which is now slated to appear on the April 5th ballot. Our guests are City Councilors Karen Gilbert (of District 5) and G.T. Bynum (of District 9), who both describe the Vision program in detail why also explaining why they think it's vitally important for voters to approve this program.

In several ways, obviously, Tulsa -- especially downtown Tulsa -- looks and feels much different than it did ten or fifteen years ago. Or even five years ago. Developments, improvements, enhancements, and refurbishments are occuring on many fronts. But what about the mass transit system that serves this community? On today's ST, another discussion in our series of interviews with organizations aiming to acquire funding through the Vision 2025 sales tax extension.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilors are seeking public input regarding how best to use a proposed renewal of the Vision 2025 sales tax for economic development here in our community. Several ideas have recently been put forth -- from funding for the Tulsa Zoo to enhancements to the Pearl District, from the purchase of the downtown Tulsa Club Building to refurbishment of the Gilcrease Museum and its buildings and grounds (to name but a few) -- and on this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn another such proposal.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, as the new year gets underway, we take a look at this country's crumbling infrastructure. In doing so, we review the detailed findings of the latest "Report Card for America's Infrastructure," which is created every four years by the nonprofit American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

On this edition of ST, we speak with Bill Leighty, a longtime realtor in our community who's also served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the City's Transportation Advisory Board, and its Land Use Task Force. Moreover, Leighty is the executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which he tells us all about on today's program.

(Note: This interview originally aired in August of this year.) The automobile thrived, of course --- in fact, it flourished --- in the 20th century. Especially in America, where entire cities were developed around the car. People bought houses, planned vacations, and chose their schools and supermarkets (and so forth) around their autos --- and we still do so today. But it seems highly unlikely that cars will have quite so great an influence on our lives (and our cities) in the 21st century. So, what's next?

The automobile thrived, of course --- in fact, it flourished --- in the 20th century. Especially in America, where entire cities were developed around the car. People bought houses, planned vacations, and chose their schools and supermarkets (and so forth) around their autos --- and we still do so today, obviously. But it seems highly unlikely that cars will have quite so great an influence on our lives (and on cities) in the 21st century. So, what's next?