MTTA Plans Fare Hike, Changes in Service

Friday, July 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Transit wants to raise its fares and at the same time, make major changes to their service. The downtown bus station is now the only transfer point for passengers. However, another bus station will open next year in east Tulsa.

The agency is holding public hearings to get input on both the cost and quality of their service. The manager of Tulsa Transit acknowledges there could be improvement. "For a city our size, we have very infrequent service,” said Mark Pritchard, Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority manager. “Buses essentially do not run in the evening or on Sunday. And there are many places to we do not offer service or it simply may take too long to get there," he explained.

Only a few would-be riders showed up for the hearings. Most of them were opposed to the fare increase without a similiar increase in service. "MTTA hasn't explained what plans they have in store for the proposed changes,” said Anita Breedlove, a frequent passenger. “They say they're going to change, but what do we have as far as a plan? We need something in writing or something proposed to the riders first."

The top complaint about Tulsa Transit is its route system which currently has only one transfer point downtown. In January, a new transfer station will open at 33rd Street and Memorial Drive, allowing more point-to-point service for south and east Tulsa.

The transit service believes the new station will mean an increase in passengers which coupled with the rate hike, will mean riders will support a bigger portion of the subsidized service. "If we don't have sufficient revenue base, we won't be able to expand and enhance our service," Pritchard said.

The transit authority will listen to public comment on the proposed increase at a hearing scheduled for 12 noon, July 28th at the Center for the Physically Limited, 800 South Wheeling Avenue. Whatever happens at the public hearings, the fare increase has to be approved by the city council. If passed, it would take effect January 1st.