Oklahoma Watch Holds Forum On Tulsa-Area Mass Transit

Friday, March 4th 2016, 5:24 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma Watch will hold a public forum on the future of mass transit in the Tulsa area on Tuesday, March 8, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Central Center, located at 1028 E. 6th St. in Tulsa.

The question-and-answer forum will feature Debbie Ruggles, assistant general manager of Tulsa Transit, and James Wagner, principal transportation planner for the Indian Nations Council of Government (INCOG), the metropolitan planning organization for greater Tulsa.

Some transit experts say public transportation in Tulsa and surrounding communities lags those of peer cities in the region and nationally. A lack of transit can limits access to jobs, schools, services and recreation spots. On April 5, will Tulsa voters approve  a permanent sales tax that would pay $57 million for transit operations and capital over 15 years? Would the improvements meet residents’ needs? In the Tulsa region, will more residents cut back on driving and ride local or rapid buses? And will improved bus transit ultimately lead to a regional rail system?

Oklahoma Watch Executive Editor David Fritze will moderate the discussion. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register online at this link and come with questions.

About the Guests:

Debbie Ruggles is the assistant general manager for Tulsa Transit. She has been a public transportation professional for more than 35 years. During that time, she has managed several transit agencies across the country, including the transit agency in Boise, Idaho, that was named the Most Outstanding Transit System in America by the American Public Transportation Association. Currently, Ruggles is project manager for Tulsa Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit project planned for the Peoria Corridor.

James Wagner is the principal transportation planner for INCOG, working with member governments on programs to improve transit and bicycle/pedestrian transportation options for Tulsa area cities and counties. Most recently, Wagner led the effort to create a regional bicycle/pedestrian master plan, commonly known as the GO Plan. His prior work includes the development of Tulsa’s first regional transit system plan, known as Fast Forward, and the Peoria Bus Rapid Transit project, which was approved for construction by Tulsa voters in 2013.