A Quarter Buys A Ride On New Bartlesville Bus Service
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - One way to save money on gas is to take the bus. For the first time in a long time, Bartlesville has a regularly scheduled public transit service.
After years of planning, Bartlesville residents now have an affordable way to get where they need to go.
Tuesday was day one for the new service.
The fare is 25 cents, that'll get you to one of 12 stops on a new bus route called the city ride circuit.
"The number one need is transportation for low income and working poor," said Father Lee Stephens.
Father Lee Stephens is a member of the Washington County Transportation Coalition. The group's been planning and surveying agencies and individuals trying to ensure the service is useful.
We met members of the coalition at the downtown library. When the bus arrived, some folks got on hoping to get to the WalMart. The driver explained that he was near the end of the morning circuits and it would be afternoon before he's start up again.
It's day one there's a learning curve. The coalition members asked them to ride along, and they'd get them to WalMart when we were finished. Fair enough.
Many of Bartleville's corporate citizens -- Conoco-Phillips, Arvest Bank, United Way and others -- have kicked in to make this program possible and affordable for the folks who'll use it.
Cimarron Transit, which already operates an "on-request" service for $2 per stop in Bartlesville, will operate the city ride circuit for one year. It consists of one 14 passenger bus with four one-hour circuits in both morning and afternoon.
Stops include social service agencies, grocery stores and medical facilities with plans to expand, if needed.
The Washington County Transportation Coalition hopes to add another bus and more stops to the route in the future if the one-year pilot program is successful.
The $30,000 initial cost was underwritten through the United Way and several local businesses that saw a need for public transportation.
The CityRide Circuit will be available from 7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.