On a normal day, it takes two hours and some change to make it to OKC (bus leaves Norman at 6:20 and gets to OKC at 7:30, then gets to the Oklahoman at 8:40).
To put this into perspective for some, If I was back on the East Coast, I could drive from D.C. to Philadelphia in a little less than two hours.
Coming from the Washington, D.C. area, public transportation is a normal way of life (not for me however). Most people in the area use the transportation, most notably the subway system (this travels to various places in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia).
A lot of people drive to a “pick-up center” and have a bus take them to the subway where they can ride to their destination: the nation’s capitol.
Rule #1: If Oklahoma City wants to keep people in their city and attract newcomers, the city needs to become more commuter friendly.
People have to work in order to live and everyone cannot afford to work and drive an expensive car.
Oklahoma City needs to devote some time into planning for the future. Part of that future is to make life as easy as possible for its citizens (who pay taxes by the way).
Oklahoma City could set an example for other cities. A light rail through Edmomd, OKC, Norman, and Tulsa would alleviate traffic, save consumers money, and conserve the environment.
HOV lanes, like in D.C., can also alleviate traffic as they incentivize people to car pool. These are left lanes that can only be used during rush hour time (8-5) if you have more than one passenger in your car.
It would also save people much needed time at a moment when people’s time is becoming more valuable.
In this kind of fast-paced society we are a part of today, society should be able to compensate for travelling costs (i.e., time with little monetary cost.
What kind of sense does it make to leave home (Norman) at 6 a.m. and get to work (OKC) at 8 a.m. (and that’s on a good day without traffic on I-35)?
On a sidenote:
Monday, the buses in and out of OKC were shut down because of the flooding OKC residents experienced.
On top of that, the Metro Transit web site is talking about cutting services and increasing rates in order to alleviate money lost, due to less than expected revenue from the city’s sales tax.
Yet in an article by the Oklahoman’s Bryan Dean titled, Bus routes, hatchery survive funding cuts, OKC’s Council members said a rebound in sales tax revenue has allowed the bus system to avoid reducing their services.
Well, which one is it? Are you cutting back services or have you rebounded? This is the unnecessary drama that commuters have had to deal with thus far.