Embark Adding Additional Streetcar Drivers For Sunday Service

Tuesday, February 26th 2019, 11:42 am
By: Ashley Holden

Just 17 drivers currently keep the Oklahoma City streetcar system running seven days a week.
With an official Sunday service being put in place, at least one more driver will be added to the group. 
Embark Streetcar Manager Jesse Rush said with the new hours the team could go up to 18 or 19 drivers. 
"The streetcar operators go through about 190 hours of training, and then our streetcar supervisors go through about 240 hours of training," said Rush. "And then they have class time before they even get in the seat of the streetcar."
Drivers have to be prepared to be out on the road with pedestrians, moving and parked cars and unique signals. Rush says their drivers have to constantly think about keeping everyone else safe. 
At the same time, Embark is trying to find ways to reduce wait times and make the streetcar experience more enjoyable.  
"We've seen a few areas where we could add additional striping or maybe add additional signage to make this safer," said Rush. "And so we are working to get that accomplished."

But the streetcar manager wants drivers to remember they can do their part too. 
"Give them the room," said Rush. "We've seen a lot of people get frustrated with the streetcar and try to go around the streetcar and make a right turn. That's dangerous for everybody. So, you know, just give us the room."
Currently, Sunday service runs 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., but in April new hours will be put in place. At that time, they will run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.