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Thread: TRANSIT in OKC

  1. Post TRANSIT in OKC

    In this thread, let's talk about various transit modes options that OKC could implement. I'm not just talking theory but specific examples that are working in other cities that the RTD or Embark should look at doing here.

    The run-down to date, OKC's transit options include EMBARK metropolitan bus network, OKC Streetcar, El Reno's Heritage Trolley, and two suburban companies - CityLink Edmond and CART Norman. The metro area has also passed its RTA (regional transit authority), yet to be named, with plans for Commuter Rail from Edmond, Norman, and Midwest City to Downtown with Commuter Bus likely for other suburban routes.

    EMBARK is set to implement BRT likely along NW Expressway-Classen-Downtown routing. EMBARK has also implemented expansion of evening and night bus, Sunday operations, and reroutes. EMBARK is looking to expand its Western Hub.

    Please add if I've missed anything. Also, let's talk about specifics such as buses, trains, and routing.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  2. Lightbulb Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Commuter Bus:

    One thing that has worked out here in the Seattle area are Commuter Buses. We have several transit companies and a regional, all operate commuter bus from suburb or peer city (Tacoma) to/from Downtown Seattle.

    Of course I'd like to see this implemented in OKC, which could begin ahead of the RTD Commuter Rail. Commuter Bus could still be used on other suburban routes not getting rail, such as El Reno/Yukon-Downtown, Tuttle/Mustang-Downtown, and Shawnee-Downtown.

    But one thing I think OKC should strongly consider is the purchase and operation of double decker buses. Surprisingly, they're not that much taller than a regular bus (at 13.5 feet or so) yet hold significantly more people than a regular "local" bus. There's also the advantage of not being as LONG as articulated buses - which I hope we also get, but the double decker buses could quickly remove the 'stigma' some have of transit in general. Here are some pics.

    Alexander Dennis Enviro500 Double Decker bus

    Sound Transit (Seattle RTA)
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    Community Transit (Seattle - North transit ops)
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ID:	15450 next to articulated (great comparison)

    Translink (Vancouver)
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ID:	15454 inside, lower deck

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ID:	15451 inside, upstairs

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ID:	15453 upstairs front seats (best on the bus)



    Now imagine if we got 5 or so of these pronto and started the in demand Norman/Moore-Downtown and Edmond-Downtown routes. Surely would generate buzz for commuter transit in OKC and help create the captive audience that would use the OKC Streetcar in its current configuration.
    Last edited by HOT ROD; 07-28-2019 at 05:17 PM. Reason: added Translink interior pics
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    I would like to see a hook up area for the west of the metro area folks. Possibly around Yukon, to cover the Yukon, Mustang and El Reno area. The new neighborhoods growing in this area are bountiful.

  4. #4

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    If it was non-stop from Yukon to the transfer station in DT I would ride it nearly everyday. I love these double decker buses.

  5. #5

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    On double decks is our bridges tall enough to support? Like the May over NWE bridge how tall is its limit? And any others?

  6. #6

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by OKC Guy View Post
    On double decks is our bridges tall enough to support? Like the May over NWE bridge how tall is its limit? And any others?
    Since these would be commuter buses I believe they would stick mostly to I-40, I-35/Broadway Ext, I-44. Most of which have plenty of clearance. NWE is getting BRT so I don't think we would want to overlap it with commuter bus.

  7. #7

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyShack View Post
    Since these would be commuter buses I believe they would stick mostly to I-40, I-35/Broadway Ext, I-44. Most of which have plenty of clearance. NWE is getting BRT so I don't think we would want to overlap it with commuter bus.
    What is BRT? I thought NWE was getting more buses and I like the doubles.

  8. #8

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by OKC Guy View Post
    What is BRT? I thought NWE was getting more buses and I like the doubles.
    BRT is bus rapid transit.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC


  10. #10

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Those double deck buses look nice. Didn't OKC opt to the smaller more economy size buses because of low ridership.

    If we had a couple operating on our most traveled routes, wonder how they might positively impact ridership.

    My only concern with the double deck buses is safety--would Embark need to a hire security monitor with the upper deck being away from the driver.

    HotRod, how is this handled in Seattle?

  11. #11

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Those double deck buses look nice. Didn't OKC opt to the smaller more economy size buses because of low ridership.

    If we had a couple operating on our most traveled routes, wonder how they might positively impact ridership.

    My only concern with the double deck buses is safety--would Embark need to a hire security monitor with the upper deck being away from the driver.

    HotRod, how is this handled in Seattle?
    Are buses really that bad in terms of safety in the US? I assume double deckers have cameras in them, but whenever I have been one them in Europe there was no extra security personnel, just cameras.

  12. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyShack View Post
    If it was non-stop from Yukon to the transfer station in DT I would ride it nearly everyday. I love these double decker buses.
    That's my idea actually and is exactly what we have here in the Seattle metro. Commuter Bus that stops at suburban pnr and transit centers then is non-stop (or maybe one-stop) to downtown.

    My idea for the west metro Commuter Bus would be:

    * Route 440 El Reno to Downtown: Stops: El Reno (downtown) -> Yukon (downtown) -> OKC Shoppes (PNR) -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-40. Bus signage: Oklahoma City (Inbound), El Reno -> via Yukon (outbound).

    Other ideas since I'm on a role (lol):

    **Route 400 OU to Downtown (Express): Stops: OU Lindsey PnR -> Crossroads PnR -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-35, no other stops. Bus signage: Oklahoma City Express (inbound), University of Oklahoma -> via Crossroads (outbound). Runs reverse rush hours (6am-9am outbound, 4pm-7pm inbound) every 20 minutes with service the other direction every hour during period (ie 3 one way, 1 goes back per rush hour), 11am-2pm every 30 minutes, 9am-11am, 2pm-4pm, 7pm-10pm every hour. Using double decker buses.

    *Route 401 Purcell to Downtown: Stops: Purcell (PnR) -> OU (Lindsey PnR) -> Norman (downtown) -> Moore (I-35) -> Crossroads PNR -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-35. Bus signage: Oklahoma City (inbound), Purcell, via Norman (outbound). Using articulated buses. Commuter Rail route: This route would retire once commuter rail is established.

    **Route 402 Norman to Downtown (Express): Stops: Norman (downtown) -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-35. Bus Signage: Oklahoma City EXPRESS (inbound), Norman EXPRESS (outbound). This would operate during crush rush hours in addition to 401, no other stops. Using double decker buses.

    **Route 410 Edmond to Downtown (Express): Stops: Edmond (downtown) -> N OKC PnR -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-235. Bus Signage: Oklahoma City EXPRESS (inbound), Edmond EXPRESS (outbound). This would operate during crush rush hours in addition to 411, no other stops. Using double decker buses.

    *Route 411 Guthrie to Downtown: Stops: Guthrie -> Guthrie Airport PnR -> Edmond (downtown) -> N OKC PnR -> N 63rd and I-235 -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-35 then I-235. Bus signage: Oklahoma City (inbound), Guthrie -> via Edmond (outbound). Using articulated buses. Commuter Rail route: This route would retire once commuter rail is established.

    *Route 420 Midwest City to Downtown: Stops: MWC Tinker Town Center -> MWC downtown -> Del City (I-40) -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-40. Bus signage: Oklahoma City (inbound), Midwest City -> via Del City (outbound). Using double decker buses. Commuter Rail route: This route would retire once commuter rail is established.

    *Route 440 El Reno to Downtown: Stops: El Reno (downtown) -> Yukon -> OKC Shoppes PNR -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along I-40. Bus signage: Oklahoma City (Inbound), El Reno -> via Yukon (outbound). Using double decker buses.

    **Route 450 Airport to Downtown: Stops: Will Rogers World Airport terminal -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along airport road then I-44 then I-40. Bus signage: Downtown OKC EXPRESS (inbound), Airport EXPRESS (outbound). Using articulated buses.

    *Route 451 Mustang to Downtown: Stops: Mustang PnR -> Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center PnR -> Will Rogers Airport terminal -> Downtown OKC Terminal. Travel along airport road then I-40. Bus signage: Downtown OKC (inbound), Mustang -> via Airport (outbound). Using articulated buses.



    key notes:

    1) all of these commuter bus routes are express in nature (very limited stop as noted). This is the beauty of Commuter Bus (and Commuter Rail) in that they are fast within the metropolitan city (no local stops), which also justifies the higher fare.

    This differentiates them from local and BRT, both of which have many more stops along local streets.

    2) several commuter bus routes have EXPRESS designation. This is where there may be demand for crush rush hour traffic only (inbound 5:30am-8am, outbound 4pm-6:30pm every 15-20 min) and even more limited stops. Also EXPRESS are one directional service only, (am -Inbound, pm -Outbound) unless noted.

    Normal commuter bus is every 60 min 8am-11am, 2pm-4pm, 7pm-10pm, every 30 min 11am-2pm.

    3) all of these commuter bus routes utilize the freeway system. This also differentiates them from local bus and BRT, which hardly use freeways.

    4) Commuter Bus routes generally have a bias for service inbound in the am rush hour and outbound during the pm rush hour, with more limited frequency during the rest of the day depending upon demand. There would be a lunch rush hours that would be equal outbound/inbound with outbound starting first.

    5) there may likely also be some local bus routes that also go to the commuter bus stop(s). Prime example would be:

    * EMBARK 150 Airport to Downtown. Stops: All along route. Travel from Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center area to the Airport Terminal then along Meridian to Reno to Downtown OKC Terminal. Bus Signage: Downtown (inbound), Airport (outbound).

    This route would be in addition to the Commuter Bus 440 route, but would be local and make every stop along the way. This would be useful for employees and would run all day/night where 440 would be much more restricted.

    LEGEND
    LOCAL Bus (EMBARK)
    COMMUTER Bus (OKC RTA)

    Honest, if we could implement these few routes (would we even need more? maybe Piedmont/Kingfisher, Shawnee and Choctaw I guess, perhaps Chickasaw/Tuttle and Stillwater/Langston long term??) we would really be set as a metro area. Add this to enhanced local Embark service in the city and in local suburbs.. OMG.

    I wish we could get these Commuter Bus routes up-and-running asap to build the commuter base; implementing commuter rail to routes along rail corridors as funding gets established.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  13. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by OKC Guy View Post
    On double decks is our bridges tall enough to support? Like the May over NWE bridge how tall is its limit? And any others?
    Our (Community Transit) double decker buses are 14 feet tall and there is an even shorter option useful for older/urban areas. I believe Interstate bridge standards regulate height well above 15 feet. I don't think OKC will have any problem, outside of downtown but even those skywalks appear to be higher than 14 feet agl.

    BTW, we wouldn't likely do double deckers on NWX in the inner part since that's a BRT (bus rapid transit) corridor which tend to use special articulated buses. Even a possible Commuter Bus route Kingfisher/Piedmont -> NW OKC -> Downtown would go along NWX from the NW then turn on I-44 well before it got to the low bridge at May.

    The double decker buses work fine here in the northern Seattle area into Downtown Seattle (but I don't think there's a single skywalk). Surprisingly, they aren't used in the South Seattle and Tacoma metros. ....
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  14. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyShack View Post
    Since these would be commuter buses I believe they would stick mostly to I-40, I-35/Broadway Ext, I-44. Most of which have plenty of clearance. NWE is getting BRT so I don't think we would want to overlap it with commuter bus.
    oops sorry Paddy. I didn't see your response. ...
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  15. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    as for security, with all our buses we use cameras in the Seattle area and we have transit police operated by the county the agency resides in. These transit police have normal police cars that say "transit police" and they only police transit buses, stops, and centers/pnrs.

    OKC could do the same or have OKCPS (and other agencies) police. The nice thing of how we do it here, is transit policing doesn't compete or interfere with other jurisdictions. Also, any offence is governed by the laws of the transit district/agency and not by the city/county/etc which helps with venue and eliminates boundaries.

    Venue may not be as much of an issue for OKC since the buses would be principally in Oklahoma County with very small injections into Cleveland/McClain and W Canadian counties (maybe Logan, Pottawattomie and Kingfisher later) but for us here it is useful since the bus starts in one county but ends in King County (Seattle) for example - any violation is the call of the transit policing district not exclusively where the crime actually happened.

    Here you;ll often find transit police tailing buses, the buses themselves have a beacon that can be activated by the driver which anonymously alerts transit police of trouble onboard.. The double deckers are so new and shiny (and a bit more expensive commuter routes) that trouble doesn't seem to dare come. lol.

    I've even experienced their entry on a BRT bus (articulated) I was riding on where King County Metro Transit police quickly retrieved a trouble maker. The trouble maker had been back in the bus ranting and trying to start something, the bus driver activated the beacon, transit police followed to the next safe stop, then the bus sat and the transit police entered and apprehended the individual, then we're back on our way. lol.

    I think that's something OKC will really like, even with articulated buses. Commuter Routes tend to not have any riff raff troublemakers at all. Honestly, this is another reason why I'm hopeful that OKC can get commuter bus running on the short - it will build customer base quickly because being "safer" definitely in perception (and action) that will help Oklahoman's get used to transit in general.

    Just like one poster mentioned, take Commuter Bus from Yukon to downtown then the streetcar or local bus (or walk) to destination. Then the other way after work/play. That's the idea, removing the car along the way.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  16. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    also keep in mind, we use double deckers only for Commuter Bus. Not for BRT or local.

    The only city I know of that uses double deckers for local bus is London (and Hong Kong). OKC is no where as dense to justify local bus with double deckers.

    But OKC is perfect for 10 or so double deckers to use for commuter bus!!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  17. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    everyone, I apologize in advance for the delay in my response. I just looked and noticed I had several posts one after another, as I answered questions or provided more info to some posts/comments.

    just a problem with being on different time zones - but I am very happy to share my experiences if they can help OKC.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  18. #18

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Transit projects seek $87.2M from MAPS4

    Presentation summary regarding public transit enhancements proposed for MAPS4, totaling $87.2 million:



    1. 12-14 miles of high frequency (12-15 minute) Bus Rapid Transit connecting to larger system
    2. Weekday bus service frequency of 30 minutes or better for all OKC bus routes
    3. 500 new ADA accessible covered bus shelters
    4. Security and safety lighting at every bus stop
    5. Multiple safe and secure park and ride facilities
    6. Technology-based transportation and connectivity solutions
    • Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) at half the signalized intersections on bus routes
    • Integrate micro-transit mobility options into EMBARK family of services



































  19. #19

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    12-15 mins headways is NOT high frequency.

  20. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    that's actually perfect frequency for BRT and what I'd expect a city like OKC to have.

    my son and I took a trip yesterday in the Seattle area transit where we rode Commuter Bus, Light Rail, BRT, and then local mini-bus. I took photos particularly from the double decker Commuter Bus; I'll post here shortly as this may give you all an idea of the different transit modes and how we used them up here. ...
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  21. #21

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Perfect frequency for mediocre ridership maybe. Come on. Outside of rush hour that should be minimum frequency. During rush hour we should be looking at 5-7 minute headways.

  22. #22

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    Perfect frequency for mediocre ridership maybe. Come on. Outside of rush hour that should be minimum frequency. During rush hour we should be looking at 5-7 minute headways.
    Yeah, I have to say I found that a bit disappointing. At minimum it should be 10 minutes along a BRT route IMO. Back in Jersey City where I grew up (where public transit is relied upon by the entire city), regular buses typically came 12-15 minutes apart -- only on weekends on off routes were one-hour-type frequencies encountered. I know we're not an urban city in the Northeast, but it is still a bit sad that our state-of-the-art "high-frequency" bus route is what is typical on all bus routes in other cities.

  23. #23

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by LocoAko View Post
    Yeah, I have to say I found that a bit disappointing. At minimum it should be 10 minutes along a BRT route IMO. Back in Jersey City where I grew up (where public transit is relied upon by the entire city), regular buses typically came 12-15 minutes apart -- only on weekends on off routes were one-hour-type frequencies encountered. I know we're not an urban city in the Northeast, but it is still a bit sad that our state-of-the-art "high-frequency" bus route is what is typical on all bus routes in other cities.
    If you want some interesting notes on BRT read this study: https://iurd.berkeley.edu/wp/2013-01.pdf

    Shows in some lines with high ridership headways are minimum 12-30 seconds per bus depending on time of day. Extreme examples and Europe certainly is no model for BRT service. South America and Asia should be used as models for BRT, IMHO, and Bogota or Buenos Aires having pretty successful ridership numbers perhaps OKC could consult from them. We all know that isn't happening and the best advice OKC likely will find will be from Dallas or Houston? :/

  24. Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    okc can't support those headways in any corridor outside of rush hours. sorry. This isn't NY, Chicago we're talking about folks. ...

    12-15 on Classen/NWX is perfectly appropriate, especially considering there will be other local bus in the corridors along with the BRT. In fact, I don't think we/Seattle have any BRT headways shorter than 12-15 min either despite being quite a bit more dense and more demand here. ...

    And to be honest, IF we're wrong and OKC shows it can support shorter headways than 12-15 min then it is so easy to implement. That's the beauty of BRT, there is no fixed schedule; the bus does the route turns around and goes the other way and vise versa. Unlike local and commuter bus/rail which are scheduled and often spur to become other routes at the termini.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  25. #25

    Default Re: TRANSIT in OKC

    I feel like they either need to reduce the number of stops or give the thing its own damn lane. It wouldn't be hard and I doubt it would cause any traffic woes. Might actually get a few cars off the road by becoming a more attractive option for some folks. Put up some vertical dilineators and allow bikes to ride there too. Kill two birds with one stone.

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