Broken Arrow microtransit program looks to kick off early next year
By John Dobberstein, Editor
The city of Broken Arrow plans to launch its microtransit pilot program early next year after purchasing five vehicles recently for transporting passengers.
The program’s goal is to “improve quality of life within the region by creating an efficient, affordable, and sustainable public transportation system that is accessible for all,” the city said.
Microtransit is a demand-response service that uses the same technology and interface as Uber and Lyft.
The City Council approved the purchase of five vehicles for the program, including four 2023 Mustang Mach-E passenger cars with an additional warranty for $233,916.
The Council also approved the purchase of an all-electric 2020 Lightning ZEV3 Passenger Transit Van with an ADA package for $154,910.
The van has seven semi-ambulatory seats, plus a wheelchair area and a side-mounted wheelchair lift.
With this van, the city to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation services.
Much of the funding for the program will come from a federally funded Congested Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. It provides resources for state and local transportation programs to help meet the Federal Government's Clean Air Act requirements.
Though the pilot program's funding has been allocated for some time, the city said supply-chain issues have caused delays for the program's launch.
"We were going to get a brand-new E-Transit van, but they called us at the last minute and said it wouldn't be available until December 2024," Community Development Director Kevin Maevers said. "So, we had the option of purchasing a reconditioned, slightly used vehicle with 24,000 miles that’s in very good shape."
The city’s Broken Arrow Transit Study completed in 2022 found that 27% of the city's households have only limited access to one or fewer vehicles; 15% of the population is elderly; 8% of the population lives below the federal poverty level, and 7% are disabled.
The transit van was the first vehicle ordered and the city expects delivery in late November, with the all-electric passenger cars potentially arriving by the end of the year.
Logistics such as charging station locations, and overnight vehicle storage locations are now under consideration, the city said. The city is working with PSO to verify the charging station locations selected have adequate power and security, “but the site selection process is moving very quickly," Maevers said.
Drivers for the program will be provided through Tulsa Transit.