Providing safe, convenient transportation for all Oklahoma City community members is priority number one at EMBARK. With the EMBARK Plus paratransit services, passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities are able to utilize public transit through shared-ride opportunities, ensuring that all EMBARK customers have access to a safe, affordable ride.
Recently we sat down with Nedra Ruth, an active EMBARK Plus user, to hear what she appreciates about the service and why it’s an important part of her everyday life.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m retired now, and I volunteer my time around town. I go to the veteran’s lunch with NewView Oklahoma and belong to the Mayor’s Committee on Disability Concerns. I also belong to Friends of the Library, which is when I often use EMBARK Plus to take me to some of our meetings. When we moved, I was afraid that we might’ve moved too far away, but I’m still eligible to utilize the EMBARK Plus services, which is wonderful. Prior to retiring, I worked at NewView Oklahoma for nine years.
How often do you take the bus, and how long have you been utilizing Oklahoma City's public transportation?
When I lived on the north side of town, I would ride the city bus, but when we moved, the bus stop was a bit farther away, so that’s when I started using EMBARK Plus.
Can you tell us about the ADA compliance that EMBARK buses offer and how it affects your daily transportation?
What’s nice about the EMBARK Plus service is I know I won’t be denied a ride because of my service dog. Some of the ride-sharing services have gotten bad about seeing a passenger with their service animal and canceling the ride. The fare is affordable and the drivers do a great job of staying in their pick-up time and drop-off time slots.
How has EMBARK Plus impacted your life?
Riding EMBARK Plus definitely saves us money. If we took an Uber or Lyft to get me where I needed to go, it would probably double my fare. I’ve been able to meet different people on the bus and the drivers are all so wonderful. They’re friendly and they go beyond the call of duty.
Do you think that bus ridership has been impacted by additions to the system over the past several years?
There are so many more people wanting to utilize EMBARK Plus. It’s truly a privilege for us. It’s a service that we’re provided that I’m very grateful for.
Public transportation contributes heavily to the health of a city, and its residents, by providing affordable, sustainable transit for all, creating jobs, and supporting a healthy economy. Increasing mobility across the metro moves Oklahoma City forward together. To learn more about EMBARK Plus services and other disability accommodations, visit https://embarkok.com/learn/accessibility.