Like most other transit systems across the country, Tulsa Transit took a hit when COVID-19 emerged in early 2020.
And it still hurts.
Scott Marr, general manager of Tulsa Transit, said ridership has gone from 200,000 boardings a month before Covid to 120,000 boardings now. In an attempt to buck that trend — and remind people of the benefits of public transportation — Tulsa Transit is offering free fares in May and June on all fixed routes.
The Agreement does not apply to Tulsa Transit’s LIFT service.
“We want to find a way to increase our ridership while capitalizing on high gas prices, so offering free rides to our community can help with that,” Marr said. “Gasoline prices have affected everyone differently, so this will give our community the opportunity to park their car and try public transit.”
Marr said his research has shown that people who drive to work every day can save thousands of dollars a year by taking the bus instead. A round-trip ticket on Tulsa Transit usually costs $3.50.
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“The driver is going to greet you and you’re going to get on the bus, then you decide where you want to go,” Marr said.
Depending on the route, Tulsa Transit buses operate from 4:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Marr said, with many connections to get customers anywhere in the city they want to go.
“Our service is connectable,” he said. “Connectivity means that if you’re trying to get downtown from Broken Arrow, you can take one bus and connect to another and get where you need to be.”
Tulsans new to Tulsa Transit can find a complete list of bus routes at www.tulsatransit.org. Another option is to download the GoPass app.
“And you can type in your address and where you want to go, and that will give you the best solution; it’s going to give you multiple solutions,” Marr said.
Tulsa Transit has recently started to see ridership increase, Marr said, but the hope is to get back to the numbers the transit service had before Covid — and maybe even pick up some first-time customers along the way. .
“It’s very simple: give us a try and let us drive, that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
For more information on free rates, call 918-582-2100.