The Edmond, OK bus service, Citylink, began using new designated bus stops Oct. 16th, making the buses more accessible to the public.
According to NewsOK, each bus stop has a 7-foot sign, which indicates where the bus will stop, as well as new sidewalks. The updates will increase visibility and accessibility.
Casey Moore is the marketing and public relations manager for the city of Edmond, OK. Moore said he believes the new stops are a necessary improvement to the city.
“By adding designated bus stops, we are creating ADA-accessible places for people to get on and off,” Moore said. “We are also increasing passenger safety by eliminating the unknowns possible with random stops, as well as increasing traffic flow.”
According to Moore, the previous bus system forced riders to wave down buses, which led to inconsistent stops. The random stops disrupted traffic flow and created confusion for drivers.
The estimated cost of new sidewalks and signs is almost $500,000, NewsOK said. According to Moore, federal grants funded a portion of the improvements and the city of Edmond covered the rest. However, Public Transit Coordinator Susan Miller said the improvements are worth the cost.
“I am really excited about this,” Miller said. “It is the most convenient way to get around Edmond, we have had people asking for designated bus stops for years.”
Although there are a total of five routes, one route, 100x, follows South Broadway to Memorial Road, stopping west of Oklahoma Christian University’s campus. The route allows passengers to travel through Edmond, while also linking to Oklahoma City’s Metro Transit Center. Riders can then use the bus to travel to downtown Oklahoma City, OK and back to Edmond for no charge.
The City of Edmond’s Director of Planning and Zoning Randy Entz said students should use the new stops and take advantage of the cost and convenience.
“Edmond’s bus system has been successful for the smaller system that it is,” Entz said. “It is free, well-located to the campus and connects to downtown, as well as several shopping areas in Edmond.”
Students at the University of Central Oklahoma are already taking advantage of the free transportation Citylink offers, Moore said. A 2016 Citylink survey said over 30 percent of the riders were college-aged individuals attending classes. However, the survey found over half of the bus riders can drive and do have a car.
Sophomore at Oklahoma Christian David Richardson said he does not have a car, but takes advantage of the resources of acquaintances.
“When I need to go somewhere, I usually use my roommate or friend’s cars,” Richardson said. “Or, I go with someone. It keeps me at campus more and around people, which is good.”
Although cars are available, Richardson said he would consider riding the bus if it were close to where he was going.
“I rode the bus in Edmond once before, actually,” said Richardson. “It was for my study abroad orientation. The buses were clean and the people on the bus were super nice. A lot of the people were going to their apartments, one person was going to a birthday party and another was going to get groceries.”
Richardson said his experience was pleasant and efficient. Senior Della Thomason has also ridden the bus since attending college.
“I needed to get to my friend’s house,” Thomason said. “I was in a bad situation and didn’t have my car or a lot of cash on me. The bus was cheaper than an Uber. I had to make it work, and I’m glad it was there. I think that’s why a lot of people [ride the bus], because it works for them.”
The routes, times and stops for Citylink are all located online.