Tulsa Transit Launches Free Testing Of Aero Rapid Bus Services

Sunday, November 17th 2019, 9:53 pm
By: Erick Payne

Sunday marked the beginning of a new era for public transportation in Green Country.

Tulsa Transit launched testing of their AERO Rapid Buses.

This is the beginning of a month-long period where riders can test the new line for free. It officially kicks off in mid-December.

It includes 11 new buses and 52 modern bus stops. The goal is to greatly improve public transportation in the city.

"One aspect is that it'll be fairly quick," Tulsa Transit General Manager Ted Rieck said.

Rieck says they've been working on this for several years. The new stations will have screens showing how long you'll need to wait for a bus. And, the new AERO buses go every 15 minutes during the week. It's just slightly longer on the weekends.

"I'm just really happy and excited for it," Lushuna Blalock said.

Blalock says the entire overhaul is music to her ears. She grew up in Tulsa and knows how difficult getting around town can be for some families.

"It takes a lot of burden off of them, because I was a single parent at one time, and I knew what it was like to have to catch the bus, and I knew what it was like to be inconvenienced by waiting for the bus," Blalock said.

Now, she works at McLain High School and is trying to help promote the new service to students and families.

News On 6 caught up with Blalock today riding the AERO line with her own family, as they tried it for the first time.

"We're taking in a lot of the sights. Seeing a lot of potential places where we can get off, do quick shopping, grab a bite to eat and get back on," she said.

These are upgrades she believes will have a major impact on those who need public transportation. A belief that Rieck and the City of Tulsa are betting on.

"We want this to be seen as a preferred or even a desirable mode of travel, as opposed to today what may not be people thinking of Tulsa Transit as a first choice," Rieck said.

They're planning a second rapid bus line for Route 66. That will add a quick east and west connection. They say that expansion could take a couple years.