According to a recent ridership report, the Oklahoma City-based Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority’s (COTPA) Metro Transit system saw an increase of 133,949 new trips in 2012, a 5.44% increase from 2011. In addition to an overall increased bus ridership, downtown ridership also increased by 5.86% in 2012.
“The boost in demand can be attributed to the City Council’s additional funding for improving the frequency of several routes,” said Rick Cain, administrator of COTPA and director, public transportation and parking, for the City of Oklahoma City. “Gas prices and milder weather also likely had an impact. We expect to see the trend continue as new transit technologies are introduced.”
With unlimited day passes at $4, unlimited week passes at $14 and unlimited monthly passes at $50, Cain says riding the bus is an economical alternative to fueling up and maintaining a car. Senior passes are also available at half the regular rates.
“While we’re encouraged to see an increase in ridership, we know our system has short comings,” said Cain. “We are working diligently to evaluate our system and make incremental improvements so that our public transportation system is relevant and convenient to use.”
COTPA recently entered into a contract with transportation planning firm Nelson Nygaard to review, evaluate and make recommendations to improve the operating efficiency of the current public transportation system given the current funding.
The study is currently underway and will seek public input later this spring with results expected in early May.