July-August_2021 - 24

Mobility
of improved customer experience
technology such as trip planning
tools and real-time GPS.
" We actually felt like we were
a different service than we were
before [the EMBARK rebranding]
and we've tried to back that up
ever since 2014, " said Ferbrache.
A unique feature to the EMBARK
network is the number of
modes operated under its family
of services, which include fixedroute
buses, EMBARK Plus paratransit,
Oklahoma City Streetcar,
Oklahoma River Cruises, Spokies
Bike Share, five parking garages,
as well as transportation
options EMBARK provides by
working with different community
organizations.
" One of the nice things
THE OKC Streetcar
opened for service
in 2018.
said EMBARK Administrator Jason
Ferbrache. " We've been trying
to capitalize on and create the
momentum for public transit in
our community that we've seen
over the past seven or eight years
at all levels, from residents to city
council, for improved public
transit. We're absolutely focused
on taking that challenge and responsibility
and leveraging it as
best we possibly can. "
" One of the nice
things about having
multiple modes and
multiple services
within the EMBARK
family is our ability
to build positive
transit experiences
within our region. "
-JASON FERBRACHE
Building Momentum
Ferbrache believes EMBARK's
momentum is propelled by three
elements: a strong brand, an engaged
community and support
from the city council and board
of trustees.
EMBARK, as a brand, was
introduced in 2014, but the rebranding
effort went beyond
new graphics and marketing to
a reinvention of mobility services
in Oklahoma City that included
new fixed routes for buses, free
Wi-Fi on vehicles, improved
frequencies to 30 minutes on
nearly all routes and adoption
24 | Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | JULY/AUGUST 2021
about having multiple modes
and multiple services within the
EMBARK family is our ability
to build positive transit experiences
within our region. If we
want to be seen as the mobility
experts, the multiple modes create
that opportunity within the
community to cater to different
customers, " said Ferbrache.
EMBARK regularly surveys
the community to understand
how its services are viewed
by riders and non-riders. The
survey conducted in the fall of
2020 resulted in high satisfaction
marks among both transit
users and non-users. Nearly 78
percent of riders said they were
satisfied with services, while 77
percent of non-riders feel EMBARK's
public transit service is
valuable to the community.
Chris Tatham, CEO of ETC
Institute, presented the 2020
survey results at COTPA's July 2
board meeting and offered praise
for the overall satisfaction rating
earned by EMBARK.
" You see results that show
[EMBARK] has done a great job
sustaining a high level of satisfaction
in the midst of a year where
a lot of people were dis-satisfied
with public transportation services
because of concerns related
to safety and COVID-19, "
Tatham told the board.
One indicator within the surveys
that illustrates how woven
into the region EMBARK has
become is the belief by residents
that transit is a valuable investment.
In the 2020 survey, 83 percent
of non-transit users said they
strongly agree or agree that transit
is important for a thriving community.
The same respondents
named serving populations with
few transportation options and
supporting economic development
and access to jobs as the top
reasons to invest in transit.
Of the riders who were surveyed,
more than 50 percent use
EMBARK services five or more
times per week and that percentage
jumps to more than 73 percent
when three to four-day-per-week
riders are included.
" We have a lot of individuals
in our in our community who are
more interested in public transit
and options to move about our
city than what we've seen in the
past, " said Ferbrache. " There are
options for people who do not
own a vehicle or who do not want
to drive their vehicle. "
The support shown for EMBARK
from the community
works in tandem with the backing
the transit service receives from
the city council.
" Our city council has been
very supportive of public transit
and that's evidenced by budget
support and, I would say during
the past five or six years, when
City Council is deciding where to
make additional investment, it's
usually come down to a discussion
between police and transit, " explained
Ferbrache. " When you're
a city department and you're being
considered in the same group as
public safety, that's a big deal. "
Funding is the obvious upside,
but being situated within the governance
of the city provides EMBARK
with practical benefits.
" We get a lot of back office support
from the city with things like
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

July-August_2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July-August_2021

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
A Note from the Editor
Charles Carroll Carter: How He Left His Mark on Public Transit
Transit Industry Advancements: Riding on Rubber
EMBARK-ing Toward Better Mobility
Re-imagining Stations as the Center of Sustainable Urban Life
Via Jersey City Success Story
Products
The Scheduling Conundrum
July-August_2021 - 1
July-August_2021 - 2
July-August_2021 - 3
July-August_2021 - 4
July-August_2021 - Ad Index
July-August_2021 - Editor's Notebook
July-August_2021 - 7
July-August_2021 - People & Places
July-August_2021 - 9
July-August_2021 - 10
July-August_2021 - 11
July-August_2021 - 12
July-August_2021 - A Note from the Editor
July-August_2021 - Charles Carroll Carter: How He Left His Mark on Public Transit
July-August_2021 - 15
July-August_2021 - 16
July-August_2021 - 17
July-August_2021 - Transit Industry Advancements: Riding on Rubber
July-August_2021 - 19
July-August_2021 - 20
July-August_2021 - 21
July-August_2021 - EMBARK-ing Toward Better Mobility
July-August_2021 - 23
July-August_2021 - 24
July-August_2021 - 25
July-August_2021 - 26
July-August_2021 - 27
July-August_2021 - 28
July-August_2021 - 29
July-August_2021 - Re-imagining Stations as the Center of Sustainable Urban Life
July-August_2021 - 31
July-August_2021 - 32
July-August_2021 - 33
July-August_2021 - Via Jersey City Success Story
July-August_2021 - 35
July-August_2021 - 36
July-August_2021 - 37
July-August_2021 - 38
July-August_2021 - 39
July-August_2021 - Products
July-August_2021 - 41
July-August_2021 - The Scheduling Conundrum
July-August_2021 - 43
July-August_2021 - 44
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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/march-april-2023
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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/april-may_2022
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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/december-2021-january-2022
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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/aprilmay2019
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