By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Special Interest | Issue: February 2008
Tulsa Transit Assistant General Manager Cynthia Staab
Customer loyalty can be a rare thing these days, but Tulsa Transit has enthusiastic supporters. “I’ll ride the bus until I retire, even if gas goes back to $1.00 a gallon… I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Phillip Bailey, 60, a Senior Business Analyst for IBM. “They pick me up right at my car in Broken Arrow, drop me off at the front door of my office in downtown Tulsa and pick me up again for the ride home.”
Bailey began riding the Express Route in July of 2000 and said his reasons for riding include convenience, avoiding driving in traffic on the Broken Arrow Expressway, and saving money. “It costs me $50 a month to ride the bus, but I save about $100 a month in gas and another $100 - $125 in parking fees, so I come out way ahead. With all the construction in downtown Tulsa right now, just finding a parking spot can be an issue as well.”
Catching the bus at 6:20am, Bailey has about a 20 minute ride into downtown. He said he spends his time watching the traffic or just sits back and closes his eyes for a little while before the busy workday starts. “Some people read or do computer work since the Express buses have free WI-FI, but I just relax. It’s a great way to start the morning.”
Those sentiments are echoed by Eldon Ritter, a new bus rider who is also from the Broken Arrow area and works in downtown Tulsa. Ritter started a new position with Pitney-Bowes about 4 months ago. “I drove myself for a month, fought the traffic and the parking problems and decided there must be a better way, I’ve been riding the bus for 3 months and I plan to continue riding,” said Ritter. “It saves me a lot of money on gas and parking, not to mention the wear and tear on my car and my mind driving in the expressway traffic.” Ritter said he usually passes the time listening to his MP3 player.
Tulsa Transit riders Eldon Ritter and Phillip Bailey say you can’t beat the bus for convenience and cost savings.
Bus buddies Janett Stowe and Martha Fox started riding the bus when each was suddenly without a vehicle. Janett, an employee at IBM, had car trouble and tried the bus about 2 1/2 years ago, she’s been riding every since. “I’ve been involved in a car accident and the heavy expressway traffic makes me nervous. Letting someone else drive is much better for my frame of mind.” Stowe said with her senior discount, riding the bus only costs her $6.50 a week, a bargain by any standards.
Martha Fox was involved in an auto accident a year ago and was relying on her son take her to her job at William’s Companies. She tried the bus and found it very convenient. “It’s worked great for me, they pick up and drop off right at my office door and even though I’ve now replaced my personal vehicle, I still ride the bus about 3 days a week.” Fox added that her company gives an incentive for riding the bus so it’s totally free for her.
Tulsa Transit Assistant General Manager Cynthia Staab said many companies offer employee incentives that pay for some or all of their bus expenses. “The employee has convenient and reliable transportation, the company gets a tax deduction for being environmentally friendly and it’s much less expensive than purchasing parking in the downtown area. Everyone wins.”
Staab said the bus also offers residents without personal transportation the ability to work in surrounding areas. One gentleman lives in Sand Springs and takes the BA Express bus to and from his job in Broken Arrow. He said for a while he was taking a different route that involved a second bus and took longer, but then he discovered the 902 Express. Tulsa Transit offers a call center to help customers plan the most efficient route available. “If you aren’t familiar with the bus schedules, it can be a little intimidating,” said Staab. “Our call center will help you work out your route and times and answer any questions you might have. It’s a great service.”
The bright clean buses of Tulsa Transit service 197 square miles of Tulsa and great customer service is found throughout the MTTA system. From Assistant General Manager Cynthia Staab to Express Route Driver Vonceil Bell, a 12 year employee, Tulsa Transit is providing a vital service to Tulsa and the surrounding areas. See what they can do for you!