EMBARK and Oklahoma City officials revealed the new RAPID BRT vehicle at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.
The official branding of RAPID was adopted by the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) Board of Trustees in November 2021. This event is the first time the RAPID vehicle has been seen and toured publicly.
The unveiling event included remarks from EMBARK officials and Mayor David Holt as well as tours of the RAPID vehicle for the public.
“It is a privilege to share the first look of the most public-facing piece of EMBARK’s RAPIDBRT service in an event open to the public,” said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK administrator. “Our RAPID vehicles provide an elevated level of luxury for our customers. As we continue to advance and expand our transit options, we want to show our commitment to the satisfaction and accessibility of our service lines.”
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was first identified as a viable public transit option in the 2005 Fixed Guideway Plan, followed by a concept plan in 2016 with preliminary design for the first line completed in 2020.
The first RAPID line is planned to have 32 stops and stretch 9.5 miles each way and will integrate into the larger EMBARK transit network. This RAPID Northwest line travels through the OKC downtown core, connecting downtown OKC to Classen Boulevard and along Northwest Expressway to Meridian. Over 20% of the region’s jobs are located within a half-mile of the Northwest line, which is estimated to include roughly 91,000 jobs.
Partial funding for the RAPID NW line comes from a Federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) Grant with project assistance from OKC Public Works, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, and the Federal Transportation Administration. Additional RAPID lines are expected as part of the Oklahoma City MAPS4 transit projects.
“The goal of RAPID is to expand regional mobility, increase access to jobs and improve our customers’ abilities to connect within destinations that are important to them,” said Ferbrache. “This line travels through one of the region’s most job-dense areas that also has a population of 40,000 residents in its immediate area. This unveiling is another step forward to make RAPID a reality for our customers and all central Oklahoma residents. We look forward to next month’s groundbreaking for the first RAPID platform.”