Tulsa Transit Adjusts To Ensure Safety Of Riders, Also Partner With Meals On Wheels


Wednesday, April 22nd 2020, 5:59 pm


Tulsa Transit is taking extra measures to protect drivers and riders.

They tell News On 6, they have seen a major drop in riders but are using the extra resources to give back to the community.

Employees in Tulsa Transit's call center are used to getting 10,000 to 15,000 calls a week. Now, they are getting about 6,000.

Tulsa Transit buses look different as well right now. For starters, they have seen a 50 percent decrease in ridership, but they are still in good spirits here. They have made changes to the way people travel, to keep drivers and riders safe.

They said high-touch areas of the bus are sanitized daily, drivers are wearing face masks and there is physical distancing on the bus.

"We limit how many people can get on a bus,” said Tulsa Transit General Manager Ted Rieck. "We have plaques in two languages, indicating which seats people cannot sit in."

For the time being, riders don’t pay their fair when the board.

"To reduce the interaction between the driver and the passenger but also it helps the riders, many of them are being effected by the economic downturn, so it helps them as well," said Rieck.

Tulsa Transit has decided to do pick up the slack by giving back. They are partnering with Meals On Wheels. They will use Lift buses, to help deliver meals to people in need. A Meals on Wheels volunteer with tag along, to do the actual delivery.

"We have the resources, but we are part of the community. Tulsa Transit normally just provides buses up and down the street, we are in a position to do a lot more," said Rieck.

Call center employees will also be helping with wellness calls.

It is good for them. It is good for the community. It is good for everyone," said Naaja Jefferies with Tulsa Transit.

In the next week Tulsa Transit said they will start asking riders to wear a mask to protect other riders and the driver.

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