By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – EMBARK, along with partner Tyler Outdoor, is celebrating the installation of its 100th bus shelter. Over the last year, 100 bus stops throughout Oklahoma City have received new shelters. Now, more stops offer customers overhead shelter and a renewed sense of security and accessibility when using public transit.
In addition, new shelters include security lighting and ADA-compliant sidewalk connections and trash receptacles.
The 100th shelter installation is located at SW 23rd St. and Walker Avenue.
This particular shelter was funded by a neighborhood project grant that was awarded to the College Hill/Capitol Hill Neighborhood Association from The City of Oklahoma City Planning Department’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI).
EMBARK celebrated the 100-shelter milestone with Ward 4 Councilman Todd Stone and Tyler Outdoor on July 1.
Since December 2014, EMBARK has upgraded 208 bus stops with new shelters. The most recent EMBARK customer survey revealed the “availability of accessible bus stops” as the single most important service rating among customers using EMBARK transit.
“Annually, we ask for feedback from our customers. Last year, two areas were identified for improvement – bus stop amenities and access to bus stops,” said EMBARK Administrator Jason Ferbrache.
“Thanks to our Board of Trustees, OKC City Council, and Tyler Outdoor, we were able to put a plan in motion to improve our customers’ experience,” Jason said. “Together, we set an ambitious goal of installing 100 new bus shelters in one year, and we are excited to have met that goal.”
As part of the MAPS 4 Transit project, 500 additional shelters with security lighting and ADA-compliant sidewalk connections are planned. Over 50 percent of bus customers use EMBARK services 5+ days per week, making it crucial for proper shelters to offer safety and accessibility to those using EMBARK for essential transit service.
The business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City, EMBARK is responsible for providing safe, efficient, and convenient public transportation and downtown parking solutions to the greater Oklahoma City area.
“I’ve been riding the EMBARK buses for 27 years from my house to my work at the Downtown library,” said Oklahoma City resident James Nimmo. “Doing so has saved thousands of miles on my car as well as the expense of gas and maintenance.
“The library reimburses me for the bus pass as they pay for parking since there’s no free parking downtown, as there is at the other library locations,” Nimmo added. “I can take cat naps and catch up on my magazine reading on the rides.”
Embark provides other transportation services for the general public, people with disabilities, senior citizens and commuters, as well as Oklahoma River transport.
For more information, visit embarkok.com.