POSTED ON JANUARY 9, 2013:
Rapidly Approaching. Talk has intensified about a new type of bus route with frequent stops along South Peoria Avenue.
"The Peoria corridor covers 20 percent of the jobs in the city of Tulsa and one out seven residents in the city," James Wagner, transportation projects coordinator with the Indian Nations Council of Governments, said in a statement released Jan. 3 meant to tout the potential of what's being called bus rapid transit.
Still in the proposal stage, a public meeting seeking input on the idea was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8, taking place after press time. According to INCOG, the proposal calls for buses to stop every 15 minutes at stations along the route instead of the 30-minute current wait time.
Technology would also transmit bus arrival time to smart phones and signs at new bus stops along the 15-mile route, which would run between East 38th Street North and the intersection of East 81st Street and South Lewis Avenue. The proposal calls for connections to the South Denver Avenue bus station downtown.
Part of the proposal calls for buses to be equipped with traffic signal technology which would allow behind-schedule buses to enable green lights, a way to ensure that buses run according to schedule.
Wagner told UTW in November that such a project will need federal funding, with a firm statement of support from the Tulsa City Council likely necessary for such federal support. Wagner also told UTW that the city would need to increase financial support for bus service in order for the project to become a reality. At the time, he estimated the cost at roughly $25 million in capital costs, with a yearly cost of approximately $1.25 million.
INCOG is positing the service as a way for Tulsa to catch up to other cities.
"Just last month San Antonio started its BRT service, dubbed Primo, and last year Fort Worth implemented theirs, called the Spur," Wagner said. "Cities like Kansas City and Albuquerque have had Bus Rapid Transit in place for several years."
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