EMBARK marks launch of Oklahoma City’s first bus rapid transit service

Posted: 13 December 2023 | | No comments yet

EMBARK announces the official launch of RAPID, Oklahoma City’s first bus rapid transit service, marking a significant advancement in providing enhanced public transit options for residents.

Rapid EMBARK marks launch of Oklahoma City's first bus rapid transit service

Credit: EMBARK

In a significant milestone for public transportation in Oklahoma City, EMBARK has announced that, in collaboration with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the City of Oklahoma City, it has marked the official launch of RAPID – the region’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) service.

“The launch of RAPID NW continues the methodical progress we have been making toward better public transit options for our residents,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “Along [the RAPID NW] route are workplaces, shopping, major medical facilities and entertainment. This could be a life-changing amenity for the residents along this line, especially those who haven’t been users of our public transit system in the past.”

Operated by EMBARK, the inaugural RAPID line boasts 32 platform stops, covering a 9.5-mile route connecting downtown OKC to Classen Boulevard, Northwest Expressway and Meridian. The service operates 365 days a year, offering a peak service frequency of 12-15 minutes at each platform stop. The fleet consists of nine 40-foot clean-natural gas vehicles, equipped with luxury seating and advanced technology, ensuring an elevated rider experience.

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RAPID NW addresses the needs of one of the region’s busiest corridors, passing through a job-dense area with nearly 40,000 residents and 91,000 jobs within a half-mile of the line. The launch comes with a special incentive, as the fare-free service will be available to riders until 31 December 2023.

“Public transportation in Oklahoma City takes a major leap forward in its accessibility and ability to provide a sustainable future for residents and visitors of the Central Oklahoma region,” said Gail Lyssy, FTA Region 6 Administrator. “I’m honoured to be a part of this celebration, and I commend EMBARK, the City of Oklahoma City and the many people who had a role in making this RAPID NW a reality for thousands of future transit riders.”

The construction of the $28.9 million RAPID NW Line is funded in part by the City of Oklahoma City, Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation.