EMBARK is a leader in the regional effort to plan, design, improve and maintain a cost-efficient transit network by fostering relationships, developing public/private partnerships with Greater Oklahoma City communities and promoting the use of transit oriented development policies.
Below are studies and grant projects that are aimed at significantly improving the transit options available for Central Oklahomans. Each builds on earlier plans and is based on broad public input and technical insights.
The purpose of the plan was to provide a clear picture of the future steps and funding opportunities essential to the bus, rail, vanpool, bus stop, technology and other improvements needed for the greater Oklahoma City region. The plan was designed to be conservative, practical, incremental and well supported by data.
The Fixed Guideway Plan (FGP) identifies potential regional transit solutions that improve connections among metropolitan area’s growth centers, enhance economic development opportunities, improve mobility, expand transportation options and improve air quality. The solutions include a combination of local bus, BRT, streetcar, commuter rail and other options.
The Greater Downtown Circulator AA was the first planning step toward carrying out the metro area’s Fixed Guideway Plan, and focused only on downtown and health center mobility. The AA recommended modern streetcar as the best overall transit technology and a 7.6 mile route. The TIGER II streetcar planning and ongoing MAPS 3 streetcar planning would build upon the AA work and focus on a shorter route. All streetcar options will feature an enhancement of the adjacent bus system.
MAPS 3 is a 10-year construction program designed to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City.
In January 2013, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) initiated a Transit Service Analysis process. The goals of the Transit Service Analysis were to evaluate the existing Metro Transit bus system, improve the route network to increase ridership and productivity within the existing budget, and also identify future service improvements if additional resources become available. The study was awarded to consultant NelsonNygaard - a nationally recognized public transport planning and engineering firm.
EMBARK, the Oklahoma City Planning Department, the City-County Health Department, and the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) jointly collaborated in 2015 to conduct a healthful corridor planning process which identified the potential for bus rapid transit (BRT) and multimodal transportation in the Northwest Corridor. in 2016 EMBARK developed a concept plan from that activity and related efforts. In the Plan, the Northwest Corridor is defined as the one that runs from the Downtown along North Classen Boulevard and Northwest Expressway. The goal of the Concept Plan is to increase mobility as well as improve livability and community health through multimodal public transportation options and land use strategies. Much has been done as follow-up planning and in 2017 the Plan was recognized as one of a dozen to win a national Transportation Planning Excellence Award (TEPA).
In January 2017, EMBARK initiated a fare study to evaluate the current fare structure and develop an overall fare policy. The study will review EMBARK’s existing fare structure and fare collection equipment to identify opportunities to improve integration of the modes within EMBARK’s family of services, including fixed route bus, paratransit (EMBARK Plus), ferry transit (Oklahoma River Cruises), bike share (Spokies), Oklahoma City Streetcar and downtown parking.
The goal of the study is to establish fare principles, including fare policies to guide setting fares and implementing fare changes, and to develop an action plan for implementing fare integration and fare collection technologies that support the fare principles. The study was awarded to consultant Four Nines Technologies - a recognized public transport and IT firm with specialization in fare policy and fare collection technologies.
Two public meetings were held to get feedback on existing fare structure, fare payment, and fare policy for EMBARK Bus, ADA Para Transit, Oklahoma City Streetcar, Off-Street Parking, Spokies Bike Share and Oklahoma River Cruises.
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