Oklahoma City – Transportation concerns for many students aren’t just about getting a ride to the mall. For some, it’s difficult to find transportation to and from school every day, extra-curricular activities and after school jobs. To support students and the schools, EMBARK is piloting an expansion of its Haul Pass program to give all Oklahoma City Public School juniors and seniors free bus rides anywhere, anytime EMBARK buses are running.
As a senior at Classen School of Advanced Studies, Sarah* lives about seven miles from her school and is unable to use yellow bus transportation to get to school. Typically, yellow buses are only available in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the school. For Sarah and her working parents, that presents logistical challenges – so, she relies on EMBARK to get her to and from school every day. She’s finalizing plans for college this fall and appreciates the savings she’ll see with the Haul Pass.
While Oklahoma City Public School juniors and seniors will enjoy the program at no cost, any other middle school or high school student can purchase a Haul Pass for unlimited bus access for only $10 a month, a significant discount.
Students simply show their EMBARK student ID, swipe their Haul Pass card when they board and they can go anywhere the bus system operates - back and forth to school, work, an extracurricular activity or anywhere EMBARK goes. Applications are available at www.embarkok.com or through the school’s office.
“Many of our students struggle with reliable transportation,” says Aurora Lora, OKCPS Superintendent. “The support from EMBARK and the City of Oklahoma City means removing transportation barriers for many students who travel miles to get to school and who don’t have their own means of transportation. The Haul Pass is a tool our kids can use to overcome this enormous burden and help them focus their efforts on being successful in the classroom. This is a significant way our city is increasing its support of public education.”
Haul Pass was first introduced at Emerson High School and was a collaboration among EMBARK, the City of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma City Public Schools. The program proved to be successful – improving transportation access for students.
“We created this program to improve transportation access for students and make sure they get to and from school safely,” adds Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK administrator. “It’s an investment in the student and our community. By raising-up a generation of youth comfortable using public transit, they’ll understand the value of the service and will likely be more open to it as an adult. We are building positive connections today with the future of our community.”
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EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City. EMBARK is responsible for providing safe, efficient and convenient public transportation and downtown parking solutions to the greater Oklahoma City area. EMBARK is the 2016 North America Outstanding Public Transit System of the Year.
To learn more about EMBARK and view bus schedules and routes, visit www.embarkok.com or call (405) 235-RIDE (7433) for personal assistance from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
COTPA is celebrating 50 years of leadership in providing public transit and downtown parking services to Oklahoma’s capital city.
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