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November 22, 2017, 06:00:14 pm
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Author Topic: I've never ridden Tulsa Tranit  (Read 761 times)
cannon_fodder
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« on: April 21, 2017, 08:37:41 am »

Hi.  I'm not a big fan of cars, I live in midtown, I'm a bit of a development nerd, like the idea of mass transit and ride it when visiting other cities, I don't  mind walking, and since living in Tulsa I've always worked within 5 or 6 miles of my home.  And I've never ridden Tulsa Transit.

I'd like to.  I've looked into it from time to time to see if I could usually ride transit, particularly on ozone alert days or when my car is in the shop. But it always seems to be more trouble than it is worth.  I looked into it again last night and here is what I found (lets say I live near 31st and Harvard and I work somewhere serviced by the central bus station):

- It would take me at least 3 (likely 5) times longer to get from my home to work (stopping 36 times in ~ 5 miles?)
- It would likely cost a bit more ($1.75 to go 5 miles, my likely operation costs of driving are half that) and my family needs two cars in Tulsa anyway
- There is exactly one bus that could get me to work downtown by 8AM, if I missed that bus or it is broken down, I'm 40 minutes late
- Sometimes at work I need to go somewhere, transit in Tulsa isn't nearly efficient enough to accommodate (I could simply drive days this is likely, but it further supports the need for 2 cars)
- To get home I have to leave just before 5pm (bus leaves at 5:15), or wait until 6pm to catch my bus.  If I work past ~5:45, the next practical bus isn't until 8PM.


I'm not trying to bash Tulsa Transit, I'm just laying out why it doesn't work for me and wanted to see what others think.  It takes longer, won't save me money, and doesn't run often enough to provide flexibility.  That's ignoring issues about waiting in the rain or heat, that buses are subject to the same traffic issues everyone else is, and other things inherent in bus travel.  Other than making a conscious effort to ride transit, why would I? I get  this this is a self centered whiny position, but I doubt I'm alone.  Shouldn't I be a key demographic if we really want transit to catch on... or am I just not the right demographic?

It should be pointed out that Tulsa Transit has integrated with Google Maps, put effort into their transit program, and has about a million ways to lookup information on their webpage.  Once you learn how to get the information, its all there.They also have creative park and ride options, "rack-n-roll" bike share for free, info on employer subsidized transit, and of course ozone alert special fares.  It really seems like they are trying to make it work.

If we could be a one car family and rely on transit, it might work.  $45 a month for a pass would mean $540 a year for transit.  That's a LOT cheaper than owning (insuring, fixing, fueling) a second car.  But if it is hard for me to do it living in midtown, it has to be almost impossible for most people.

I'm not offering a solution, just wanted to start a discussion.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 09:39:02 am »

Back in the 70's I lived near Rogers High School and worked downtown.  Was able to ride the bus quite a bit, as well as ride bicycle.  There was only a few blocks walk to get to the stop.  Truly an exceptional resource for me at the time!   No where else in town I have lived has been as friendly to bus ride.  Well, except when I was young and we lived on North Harvard and were able to ride the trolley, but that was under parental control.

Few years later, moved to BA for a couple years, and traffic was low enough that could ride the bicycle still to 15th & Sheridan area.  But no bus available at all.  Today, would not even think about doing that again - all those crazed Tulsan's that moved there took their horrible traffic habits with them when they set out to ruin Broken Arrow!!



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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 09:58:31 am »

I have hope the BRT on both 11th and Peoria makes it easier for people to ride the bus downtown.  Or even within midtown.  Tulsa's overall population density is too low to support a robust transit system, especially with limited funding.  But targeting certain areas like north midtown (areas north of the BA) along the 11th St corridor including TU and west midtown along the Peoria corridor as well as North Tulsa along Peoria are good places to focus.  

Integrating with Google Maps was a step in the right direction.  Now making the stops less frequent but more permanent (actual bus shelters with info showing when the next bus is arriving and routes) should absolutely be part of the BRT roll out.

And I still believe a real streetcar would be well-utilized in the downtown core especially if integrated with the BRT routes.  I think once OKC has theirs up and running that will change a lot of minds in Tulsa.  Drive 4 hours north to Kansas City and you can see one already in action.  Yes it's a vanity project and will be aimed at tourists and downtown visitors but it could also be great for locals arriving downtown by bus (or train at some point, either Amtrak from OKC and/or commuter rail from BA)..
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 10:00:57 am by SXSW » Logged

 
takemebacktotulsa
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 03:18:03 pm »

Before I could drive (ages 14-16) I exclusively rode the bus from the 21st and harvard area to all over tulsa. I thought it was great!

Although times between busses were 30-45 minutes, the schedule was very reliable. The bus was never 2-3 minutes later than the posted times. Keep in mind, this was around 2001-2003, and I've only ridden the bus a few times since, so things could have changed.

The bus doesn't actually stop 36 times - the bus only stops when someone is waiting for it outside, or when someone pulls the cord to get off. So it will likely be a quicker trip than the internet tells you. I would get from 21st and harvard to the Gypsy coffee house downtown in about 15-20 minutes, and maybe stop to pick up / drop off 3 times.

I'd say just give it a shot one day and take the bus to work! Pick a day where you won't have to leave the office and just give it a whirl. Recount your experience here!

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Conan71
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 03:32:26 pm »

When I was in elementary school I would take the bus sometimes from 26th & Delaware to Barnard if the weather was a bit sketchy for walking or riding my bike.  I also used to take the bus downtown to the library after school every now and then and back home.  This was the mid-1970’s so people didn’t worry near as much about their children going missing or something awful happening to them.  Or maybe they did and my mother was being hopeful.
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 05:17:40 pm »

The bus doesn't actually stop 36 times - the bus only stops when someone is waiting for it outside, or when someone pulls the cord to get off. So it will likely be a quicker trip than the internet tells you.

It shouldn't be much quicker than the posted schedule. At some point, the bus will have to wait for the schedule to catch up with the bus or the bus will leave a scheduled stop early.  That could leave riders waiting a long time for the next bus. 
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Red Arrow
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 05:19:25 pm »

Or maybe they did and my mother was being hopeful.

So your mom wasn't so lucky?   Grin

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Ben
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 11:20:44 am »

Totally agree with your points. I have used the bus system some and have had good experiences..but...

I am a one car family, and I work from home or within walking distance library/coffee shop. I would love to take transit when I go to meetings, coffee shop, etc. I am not worried about the cost, in my situation it would save me money.

The ride taking longer is something of a problem, but I actually have work I can do on the bus, so its not a huge deal for me, but I get how it is for some most people..

The lack of frequency is what gets me. Miss a bus wait an hour, have to transfer, wait an hour...etc.

Lack of frequency also makes it so I would have to arrive at my destination much earlier then need. Instead of a bus that drops me off 10 min before a meeting its an hour or whatever. Sometimes the may be ok, but lots of times it would just be waisted time.

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sgrizzle
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 07:17:19 pm »

I've ridden the bus once.

I had a sociology teacher who gave us an assignment to start at TCC SE campus with a bag of newspapers, take them to Mohawk Manor in north Tulsa, drop them off, and then ride the bus back. The basic route was TCC to Woodland Hills mall, waited about an hour, then ride a bus north about 3 miles, get off, wait another half hour, board a bus for downtown, once downtown wait almost an hour for a bus that got near Apache Manor, it would go to East Tulsa first and the bus driver took a 20 minute break with me on it. Once I got near Mohawk Manor I walked to it, dropped the newspaper in a recycling bin, walked back but missed the bus. Waited about half an hour and then followed the steps back again. Most people it took 11-12 hours. This became a problem because the bus to TCC SE campus didn't run past 6 so most of my classmates had to call for a ride at Woodland Hills Mall or just aborted the trip halfway since they had day jobs and couldn't commit a work day to a one-man field trip.
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AngieB
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 09:19:21 am »

I've ridden the bus once.

I had a sociology teacher who gave us an assignment to start at TCC SE campus with a bag of newspapers, take them to Mohawk Manor in north Tulsa, drop them off, and then ride the bus back. The basic route was TCC to Woodland Hills mall, waited about an hour, then ride a bus north about 3 miles, get off, wait another half hour, board a bus for downtown, once downtown wait almost an hour for a bus that got near Apache Manor, it would go to East Tulsa first and the bus driver took a 20 minute break with me on it. Once I got near Mohawk Manor I walked to it, dropped the newspaper in a recycling bin, walked back but missed the bus. Waited about half an hour and then followed the steps back again. Most people it took 11-12 hours. This became a problem because the bus to TCC SE campus didn't run past 6 so most of my classmates had to call for a ride at Woodland Hills Mall or just aborted the trip halfway since they had day jobs and couldn't commit a work day to a one-man field trip.
What kind of crazy assignment was that?!?

And, for the record, I've never ridden Tulsa Transit either.
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 10:18:28 am »

I've never ridden Tulsa Transit, mostly because it doesn't get out this far.  Even it it did though the time between buses makes it unusable in my opinion.  I will admit to having been spoiled by the trolley line that ran close to our house in PA.  It had the advantage of being on private ROW for most of its length.  It wasn't grade separated so it did have to cross streets.

Link to a schedule that works.
http://www.septa.org/schedules/trolley/pdf/101.pdf


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sgrizzle
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 08:06:27 pm »

What kind of crazy assignment was that?!?

And, for the record, I've never ridden Tulsa Transit either.

We believe the teacher believed that everyone at Southeast campus was over-privileged and needed to learn how those less fortunate lived.

We also a field trip to a subsidized housing project that didn't go over well. One of the "over-privileged" students pointed out she had just moved out. There were other guffaws.
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 08:48:30 pm »

I rode it years ago when I worked downtown.   I really enjoyed it as it was the express and stopped just a block from my apartment and dropped just a block from the office.    The boss loved me being in at 7:45.

The problem came when I needed to leave and the express only ran at 4:50.

If I had a meeting or last minute problem it would have to wait which caused more stress...   Especially when the company provided parking for me (which they considered a good excuse to do things at 4:55.)   If I missed that express bus, it was walk to the center terminal and hop 3 routes to get home....  


My brother currently rides the express from BA currently and he loves it as well....  But he is senior enough to not get held up.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 08:25:31 am »

What kind of crazy assignment was that?!?

And, for the record, I've never ridden Tulsa Transit either.



Let people who have other options know exactly how it works for those who do not.

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

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PonderInc
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 10:40:16 pm »

I ride the bus on occasion but used to ride it a lot more often, and it worked great for me b/c I worked 9-6.  It was slow but convenient.  I would catch the bus about 4 blocks from my house and it would drop me off across the street from my office.  Now, it's still equally convenient, except that I often need to carry heavy tools to a property I'm working on, and that is less fun than just walking to the bus with a laptop.

The bus stop by my house sucks (it's a sign by the street, surrounded by concrete parking), so I carry an umbrella in the summer time to generate shade.  You look silly, but it makes a huge difference, and you won't sweat through your clothes.  (Parasols for public transit users!)

The downside is that you can't miss that last 6 pm bus.  At one point, we had three members of the household who all worked downtown, and at least 2 of the 3 would drive on any given day, so I could usually catch a ride home in the evening if we wanted to go out to dinner or to an event.

It is true that you can't run errands when the bus only runs once every 40 minutes.  When I ride the bus, I pass several places that I would normally stop to shop (grocery, butcher, drug store), and it always makes me sad to pass by and think "I wish I could just jump off and then catch the next bus in 10 minutes."  But since that doesn't exist...I can't. 

When I used to live closer to downtown, I either biked, walked or rode the bus (if it was too cold or rainy for the other two options) every day.  Totally convenient back then.  Drove my car about once a week.  Bus was free, too, b/c my employer provided bus passes if you didn't receive a parking subsidy.



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