RecentlyEMBARK and City officials celebrated the opening of the 100th new bus shelter at NW 10th Street and Western. The newest shelter represents a milestone for EMBARK’s bus stop management program. EMBARK seeks to enhance the customer experience by improving bus stops, as well as ADA access to the stops. In late May, EMBARK Director Jason Ferbrache presented an update to the City Council on the program’s accomplishments.
“As a city council representative, we recognize the need for improving our public transit services, and we remain committed to funding initiatives that will make our community better,” said Hamon. “The new bus shelters have already made a big difference for EMBARK riders. Continued progress will help ensure we have a transit network accessible to all.”
In recent years EMBARK’s Board of Trustees implemented a bus stop management program that establishes bus stop standards. All new bus stops must be ADA accessible and compliant; shelters must have at least three sides, include security lighting and a trash receptacle. Since the initiative kicked off, EMBARK has added 102 new bus shelters to existing bus stops. As a result, EMBARK’s customer satisfaction is on the rise. Of its 1,363 stops, 175 now have a shelter. Another 21 existing stops will be upgraded to become ADA accessible, which includes constructing connecting sidewalks and concrete pads. Upgrades are expected to be completed this summer.
“Our research shows that passengers list a lack of ‘shelter from the elements’ as a barrier to using our bus service, and they are more likely to ride the bus if a covered shelter is available,” said EMBARK’s Director Jason Ferbrache.
During the 2017 Better Streets, Safer City bond election, many residents voiced support in improved bus stop infrastructure. Improvements have been spurred through a variety of partnerships including the City’s MAPS, Public Works, and Planning Departments; neighborhood associations; and Tyler Outdoor.
Ferbrache said that EMBARK would be aggressively working on adding another 100 shelters.
In addition to number of boardings, staff also consider other factors such as proximity to medical facilities, retirement communities, schools, and employment centers as potential shelter locations.
The average cost to make a stop ADA accessible and include a bus shelter is approximately $15,000. Costs can vary depending on location.
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EMBARK is 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.
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