The micro transit pilot program will include nightline and Sunday services starting April 2 and, if successful, will expand into the greater Tulsa area in August.
“One of the apartments that we are now serving with, this micro transit has never had a bus stop before, never had a big bus route service, so, it's opening up opportunities for these people who we just couldn't afford to put a large bus out near them or around them,” said BreAnna Hall, marketing manager at MTTA.
The pilot program will accommodate two zones, northeast and northwest Tulsa, and service nightline and Sunday routes.
"A vehicle will pick you up and drop you off from one curb to the other if it's within the designated zones. If it's not within the zone, the vehicle will pick you up from that curb and take you to either our closest fixed route service to get you to that final destination,” Hall said.
MTTA said it sees the program as a way to expand accessibility and increase efficiency.
“You have gotten there just one straight shot instead of having to hop on three buses and then walk two miles to your actual destination,” Hall said.
The program is intended to complement the currently fixed routes rather than replace them. However, the pilot program will take over the 110 and 130 routes from April 2 to August to encourage usage so they can study needs and how to better the program.
Additionally, the program will cost no more than a bus ride.
“The typical cost is $1.75. There are reduced ridership fares. We have the TPS program along with other college programs that we have partnerships with that actually will get to ride this for free due to the school sponsorships," said CFO of Metro Tulsa Transit Rebecca Walner.
MTTA said this will make a great alternative for those who can't afford other rideshare services.
“Because while Uber and Lyft are great, as far as being able to come pick you up at your door, not everyone can afford a $10 trip to go to the grocery store, and so, I think making transit accessible is not just about being able to be picked up. It's also about affordability," said Emeka Nnaka, board member of MTTA.
The transit organization hopes to expand this service and provide transportation to everyone in Tulsa come August.
“Progress and prosperity, which is our mission. We came up with that because it was like getting people to live life, to work, to have fun so like to move their lives forward. No one should be without an opportunity because of where they live," Nnaka said.