New Charity Arranging Rides, Teaching Tulsa Students To Use Transit System

Thursday, November 2nd 2017, 6:00 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A new Tulsa charity hopes to eliminate the excuse of "I didn't have a ride" for teenagers trying to get basic services.

They're arranging rides in some cases, and also teaching teenagers how to catch the bus.

Tulsa students can ride the bus for free, but that's only if they know enough about it.

Transit teachers are going out to explain it and are also mobilizing volunteer drivers for more urgent trips.

At Tulsa's MET High School, a one-time, half-hour class is creating new opportunities for students. It's a simple explanation of how any student can get to school, or work, or anywhere on Tulsa Transit.

For Robie Santos, it created a time savings of 30 minutes each day.

"Neither of my parents get home until about five, and I can usually get home about 4:30 taking the bus," Santos said.

The class is one outreach from a charity called MODUS, which is new in Tulsa.

“The kids who say they would ride the bus have said they just don't know how to, and that's why we're here,” said MODUS Director Leslie Neal.

MODUS plans to take their transit lessons to every Tulsa high school and to every freshman class.

But they've also launched a car service with volunteer drivers for times when the bus won't work.

"With me not having a good support system, it's very good,” MODUS client Destiny Lyons said.

Lyons needed to get to and from medical appointments with her baby boy around her work schedule - that's where Cledella Evans comes in, as a driver for the organization that matches volunteers with teens who need a ride.

“And what you learn is that a lot of people will deny themselves access to basic things because they lack transportation,” Evans said.

The group needs more drivers like Evans to meet the demand.

And because of the service, Lyons can get to critical appointments without the wait for the bus and the uncertainty of trying to catch a ride.

"It shows that I have people in my corner and I'm not here by myself, not alone," Lyons said.

To expand, the group needs volunteers, and you can find more information here.

They're just now starting in high schools but they'll get to every ninth grader in Tulsa this year.