Dump the Pump program offers free rides

Thursday, June 19th 2008, 8:00 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Okla. -- Norman public transportation declared today a day to "Dump the Pump" and to ride the bus instead for free.

Everyone who rode the CART (Cleveland Area Rapid Transit) buses in Norman today rode for free.

"We're trying to encourage people to ride the bus," CART spokesman Kris Glenn said. "Norman thinks it's important to be a multi-mobile city, think it's important to have choices."

So, patrons were given a free ride, a free t-shirt and tickets to win a free prize at the concert tonight.

Ridership was reported to be double what it was normally.

Brad and Kristi Swift are regular riders. They like the Dump the Pump approach.

"They do this on Earth Day and days like that," Brad said. "And today the concert and OU is doing something special. Yeah, it's a good thing."

"I have a 13-year-old daughter, so it saves us a lot," Kristi said. "You know, on groceries, having to travel around Norman to take her to her different school functions and stuff like that."

Some people were riding the bus for the first time.

"We thought it would be fun not to pay for the gas and all that stuff and ride instead," first-time rider Lani Garner said.

Dump the Pump sponsors are willing to sacrifice the usual fare money for one day.

"For what this event can do for public transportation in Norman, we'll gladly accept it," Glenn said.

Norman's CART system started in 1980, and it now has five city routes, three campus routes and one route between Norman and Oklahoma City.