Tulsa Transit To Receive $3.2 Million To Improve Public Transportation

Oklahoma is getting more than $13 million in federal money to improve public transportation.

Part of that will be used to significantly improve Tulsa Transit service.

Tulsa Transit is getting a federal grant of $3.2 million on top of its own $1.4 million to replace buses and upgrade its call center.

It will start planning a Route 66 rapid transit bus line, like the AERO line that runs on Peoria from 81st Street all the way to 56th Street North. Businesses here said it's a good sign for the resurgence of the historic road.

Emma Watts with Buck Atom's Cosmic Curios said they often have travelers from all over visiting their shop.

"I think it's great, it'll definitely bring in a lot of new people coming this way," Watts said.

She said a faster east-and-west bus line on 11th Street could make it easier to get around.

Tulsa Transit General Manager Ted Rieck said for them to be able to move forward on that, they need major improvements to their headquarters.

"In order for us to support that service, we need to buy more buses, and hire more employees, and our current facility just won't accommodate that," Rieck said.

He said the new bus line would require a lot more employees, so they need more parking spaces at their headquarters first.

"Even though Route 66 is a couple years off, it's not too soon for us to get started, to make sure we're ready when the buses get here," Rieck said.

When those improvements arrive, Watts said she hopes it'll have a positive impact.

"I think it's great that 11th Street is becoming more popular, and there's a lot of good stores coming in," Watts said. "And it's just surrounded by like the meadow gold sign, it's just great history over here."

Tulsa Transit said Mayor GT Bynum and Congressman Kevin Hern both wrote letters in support of the grant.