We will implement the general recommendations of the Transportation Service Analysis (TSA) and the Fixed Guideway Study (FGS). These two studies together define a transit future for Oklahoma City. The Service Analysis addresses enhancements of the existing bus system while the FGS provides a long-term direction that introduces new transit technologies. We have begun implementing elements of both studies. The restructured EMBARK system has made the substantial short-term route adjustments and re-imaging recommended by the TSA. The MAPS 3 program, approved by the voters, includes capital funding for a modern streetcar serving the Downtown area, a major recommendation of the FGS. Both projects will change the image and visibility of transit in the city.

The TSA established basic principles to guide short-term adjustments and longer-term system design. These guiding principles include simplicity of service, directness of routes, minimized transfer waits, operation along arterials, route symmetry in both directions, and service to rider destinations. Key long-term recommendations include weekend service expanded evening hours, and more frequent service on routes with high ridership potential. These service expansions are vital to expanding the relevance of transit to more people. The analysis also recommends new routes with available funds, including a direct service to the airport. New service should also serve destinations of special interest to both residents and visitors, using routes that will appeal to specific markets.

The FGS proposes a future system utilizing four technologies:

  1. Enhanced bus on the basic system, using conventional buses with more frequent service, longer operating hours, rider amenities such as shelters and schedule information at stops, less frequent stops, and faster operating speeds.
  2. Bus rapid transit (BRT) on four corridors: Reno Avenue, Northwest Expressway, 59th Street, and Meridian Avenue.
  3. Modern streetcar, to be implemented on a starter basis through MAPS 3 as noted earlier.
  4. Commuter rail on two corridors: the primary north-south route from Edmond to Norman via Downtown Oklahoma City and Downtown to Midwest City/Tinker Air Force Base.

Scheduling and funding for this 2008 study must be re-evaluated, but the basic long-term system concept remains sound.