EMBARK's latest move to improve transportation in the city is making the homeless population happy. The bus service just added two stops outside of the Homeless Alliance at Virginia Avenue and NW 4th Street.
With a brand new Sunday service and this new stop for those who need them most, city buses are expanding their reach.
Homeless Alliance Communications Director Kinsey Crocker says, “EMBARK has incrementally been making improvements to their system, so this is just one of those improvements that we’re thrilled to have.”
Most people who seek services at the Homeless Alliance rely on the bus to work towards overcoming their homelessness, like Curbside Chronicle vendor Greg.
“I take it all the time right now,” he says. “Seven day pass.”
Greg uses the bus to travel between the home he can now afford and his Chronicle corner.
“It’s about perfect,” Greg says, “because I just stopped in to buy magazines, and normally that would be a walk all the way from Lynwood up there.”
Greg and other vendors can use that extra time to earn some extra cash.
“It takes 30 minutes off of my turnaround time,” he says, “which makes a lot of difference sometimes.”
For others, health is a factor, and something to plan for as they navigate the city.
Frequent bus rider Charles says, “I have trouble with my legs, so I’m always trying to save steps. Sometimes I would walk a few blocks to here, but this is even better.”
Plus, in the extreme weather of Oklahoma, exposure to the elements can be downright dangerous for anyone stuck outside.
“Summer can be just as challenging,” Crocker points out. “We see a lot of heat strokes and people suffering from dehydration, so walking in 100 degree weather can really take a toll on people’s health.”
Now, though, the way is paved for these passengers to embark on a better future.
When asked how different his life would be without the bus, Charles says, “I wouldn’t be going nowhere. It would be a lot harder.”