By Josh Watson
March 2, 2021

Transit System Plan kicks off with Virtual Town Hall

The effort was the culmination of more than a decade of tireless work and the accomplishment of several strategic milestones.

After more than a decade of transformative growth, the Regional Transportation Authority of Central Oklahoma held its first Virtual Town Hall Meeting to kick off the Transit System Plan development for its six-member cities. The first meeting was on Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom, and the recording is available on their website.

There was a reserved time after the presentation to ask questions of Kimley-Horn, the RTA planning consultant. RTA board members attended the Virtual Town Hall as members of the public and did not conduct any RTA business.

Three Edmond Citylink buses (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Approximately two years ago, the cities of Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, and Del City formed the RTA of Central Oklahoma. The effort was the culmination of more than a decade of tireless work and the accomplishment of several strategic milestones led by the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments. As the RTA’s focus shifted to transit system operational planning, EMBARK transit provided interim administrative services, and EMBARK Administrator Jason Ferbrache serves as its interim executive director.

Developing a plan is a significant milestone toward coordinated transit in the region to complement successful projects. The Virtual Town Hall Meeting discussed the Transit System Planning process, upcoming visioning and goal-setting, potential transit corridors, other forms of transit potentially available to include in the plan, and the future phases of transit development in Central Oklahoma.

Former Gov. Brad Henry, RTA’s board chairman, is ready to see the Transit System Plan achieve the city’s goals and the nearby communities. 

“We are excited to launch this effort to proactively plan an affordable system that aligns with member city goals and community input. We want everyone’s stamp on this to make sure it meets our needs,” Henry said.

The planning effort is expected to occur throughout the first six months of 2021. The public can expect additional town halls and information posted to the project website as the Transit System Plan develops.

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About Josh Watson

Josh Watson is a freelance writer, public relations consultant, and tenured associate professor of communication at Oklahoma Christian University. He advises OC’s student-run PR firm, Eagle PR, and the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. Previously, he worked on award-winning state and national campaigns at McNeely Pigott & Fox in Nashville, one of the nation's top independent PR firms. Dr. Watson has helped his students earn numerous awards and recognitions, especially in national campaign competitions. His wife, Chara, teaches speech and theater at Oklahoma Christian Academy, where their four children attend.