Gov. Stitt Signs Bill, Hopes To Make Transportation Easier For People With Disabilities
OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Kevin Stitt has signed a bill to hopefully create better public transit. The former measure, now law, had overwhelming support from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The support for this legislation is also strong among those who live with disabilities. A group of out of Norman called OKADAPT said it will help them travel throughout the metro. They add, that’s not something they’ve been able to do without great difficulty.
“Use cart access to go to the bus service over on Brooks Street, and then you would have to catch a bus to go to Oklahoma City,” said Amy Brown, an Advocate with OKADPAT. “It levels the playing field for all of us. We get to have more freedom.”
The new law creates an “Office of Mobility and Public Transit,” under the Department of Transportation. Its goal is to serve the needs of all Oklahomans.
House Bill 1365 will "implement innovative pilot programs" like "micro-transit and autonomous vehicles: in systems like "Embark, Tulsa transit, Little Dixie Transit,” among others.
The goal is "to ensure the mobility needs of all Oklahomans are met in a safe, affordable, reliable, consistent and coordinated fashion."
It could help those with disabilities get to work, the grocery store, church and social events when they need it.
“To be able to call them and tell them I need a ride, and not have to wait 24 hours,” said Brown.
Due to the state’s declared emergency, the law will go into effect on July 1.
Those with OKADAPT said the rural areas still face great difficulty. They point to issues in rural communities, and said those towns still have a long road ahead.