Tulsa Transit Sees Increase In Ridership As Gas Prices Reach Record Highs

Wednesday, June 15th 2022, 9:40 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Record high gas prices have some Tulsans re-thinking how they travel.

Tulsa Transit said they've had big increases in ridership, in part because of people trying to save money on gas and free fares.

Since May 1, leaders here said ridership has increased by 50 percent.

"It is an eye opener and I know that there's a lot of transit agencies across the country doing different things," said Scott Marr, GM of Tulsa Transit.

Marr said ridership has increased since the start of May, when the agency started offering free fares.

"When the gas prices hit back in March, I got with my team and I went to our board, they approved it, went to the city council, they approved it," said Marr.

Marr said high fuel prices effect everyone differently.

For Tulsa Transit, it means paying more for compressed natural gas and electricity for its fleet.

"CNG has doubled over the past two or three months,” said Marr. “Electric vehicles are great but there is a surcharge with that when it comes to electricity."

But Marr said those with a personal vehicle may be feeling the pain at the pump even more.

That's why, he said, they're working to find ways to help drivers who are struggling.

In addition to temporary free fares, they're also raising awareness about their services.

On Thursday, they're hosting an event called Dump the Pump at their downtown station, an opportunity to encourage people to try riding a bus.

"The theme of dump the pump is park the car try transit, let us take the wheel to get you to point A to point B," said Marr.

Free fares at Tulsa Transit end on June 30.