City’s bus system ready to Embark on new chapter

Starting April 28, METRO Transit, the department that oversees the city’s bus system, parking and ferry service, will change its name to Embark.

The name change is part of a new marketing strategy, along with changes to enhance local bus service.
“The changes we are making to the public transportation system in Oklahoma City are really transformational, and the new identity illustrates the journey we, as a community, are undertaking together,” said Jason Ferbrache, director of public transportation and parking.

Months of planning and meeting with riders have led the transit agency to reconfigure some bus routes and increase ride frequency. Starting April 28, most routes will have wait times of no longer than 30 minutes. Some bus routes will also be realigned based on new rider demand, he said.

Changes to the transit system will continue to roll out over the next several months, including equipping each bus with Wi-Fi, new signage at bus stops and a new website that will allow riders to track the exact location of a bus.

“We are building everything online to be mobile-friendly,” said Michael Scroggins, manager of public information and technology.

An Emark Connect mobile app for Apple and Android devices also will launch and will allow riders to submit complaints and suggestions.

Transit officials hope the changes will lead to increased ridership, which could mean further expansion of service.

“Faster service is the first step to building a better system,” Ferbrache said. “These system changes lay the groundwork for building a better, stronger system that can one day support major improvements such as extended hours and Sunday service.”

New bus schedules will be available at the Oklahoma City Downtown Transit Center starting April 15. The new website, embarkok.com — which will feature routes, schedules and maps — will launch later this week.

Ben Felder

Ben is an urban affairs reporter covering local government and education in Oklahoma City. He lives in OKC with his wife, Lori, and son, Satchel. Ben holds a masters in new media journalism from Full Sail University and is an OKC transplant from Kansas City, Mo. Twitter: @benfelder_okg

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