OTA Transit Times

Moving Oklahoma Forward

Issue 3 - March 2023



OTA Annual Meeting

May 21-25, 2023

Oklahoma City, OK


Check out the CTAA/OTA Full Schedule of Events

APTA Annual Conference

October 9-11, 2023

Orlando, FL

Click Here

Click Here for Full Calendar

of Events

Have an event to add? Email [email protected]

Dear OTA Members and Transit Friends,

During the past few weeks, OTA has been busy connecting with our members and colleagues! Emails and Zoom can't possibly match the benefits of in-person meetings, and I've included some highlights from our travels!

OTA is now managing the Oklahoma Mobility Institute! This 501c3 organization has recently added three new members to their board of directors! Congratulations to Olivia Hook, ODOT, Marylin Dillion, PhD, Embark, and Jason Huff with the City of Norman. They join Becky Reynolds, LIFT and Brent Roy, Creative Bus Sales as the leadership group.

OMI is currently seeking an additional board member. If you or someone you work with might be interested in volunteering on mobility and grants, please send me their names. 

The OTA committees are looking for 2023 members! If you have an interest in advocacy, communications, finance, membership, and the ROC bus, we need your help! Please email me if you are interested in volunteering for OTA and increasing your professional development.

Have you scheduled your ROC Bus Visit for 2023? We are still accepting requests and would love to visit your area. We can tailor our visit based on your training objectives. We can provide wheelchair securement training, public awareness of transit, and identifying human trafficking situations and reacting appropriately. If you want the OTA to visit in a specific window (during a board meeting, at a festival or public event, etc.), just send me an email to schedule a visit.

Last but not least, we are renewing dues for 2023! if you have any questions regarding your OTA 2023 dues, please email me. We are working on several initiatives on your behalf from an advocacy standpoint, our 2023 Annual Meeting and more! We hope you plan to be part of the OTA Transit Movement, as our advocacy work benefits ALL TRANSITS, and it doesn't happen without your support! We value your contributions and realize how important collaboration is to what we do. We hope to see you at the OTA/CTAA Conference in May!

Andrea Ball, Executive Director

301.335.2715 mobile

[email protected]

SWTA Annual Meeting Photo Recap

Andrea Ball, OTA Executive Director and Nuria Fernandez, Administrator of the Federal

Transit Administration at SWTA.

Kendra McGeady, from Pelivan Transit, presented on PICK Transportation and the ability to connect riders to transit after hours!

OTA Member Brigita Leader of the Seminole Nation Transit and Andrea Ball at the SWTA Tradeshow!

OTA/ODOT to Host Events in OKC - March 28-29




March 28

Meetings at ODOT

10am - OTA/ODOT will be hosting a listening session for 5311 Transits in the SAPM Conference Room to discuss any continued funding concerns. A virtual option is available using the link in this article.

11:15am - OTA will host an informational meeting regarding the Bus and Bus Facilities Grant due on MARCH 31. A virtual option is available using the link in this article.

1pm - Board Planning Meeting

6:30pm - OTA Board Dinner

March 29

Transit Day at the OK Capitol

9am-3pm - ROC bus parked at the Capitol with transit displays and tours.

9am-3pm - Visit your legislative delegation, share your transit story, and/or invite them to step out and tour the bus!

If you can't join us in person and want to participate in the listening session or grant session, please use the following Zoom information.


Meeting ID: 814 5705 7244

Passcode: 123456

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

You are invited to attend the OTA/ODOT 5311 Listening Session that will be held at OTA/ODOT at 10am in the SAPM Conference Room at ODOT.

As ODOT continues to work on funding the backlog of claims, OTA has asked for a collaborative listening session to provide the opportunity to ask questions, clarify future reporting requirements, and gather feedback outside of the 5311 meetings. OTA is exploring if we should create additional resources to help facilitate the reimbursement process for our members. 

ODOT will also be on hand to answer questions, listen to concerns, and address any future funding questions, not already addressed in prior meetings or in the ODOT Funding Statement.

Read the full funding statement from ODOT.

Additionally, OTA is compiling information from transits interested in participating in the Bus or Bus Facilities Grant until March 31. ODOT will be filing this grant on our behalf before April 13th.


March 29: Transit Day at the OK Capitol from 9am-3pm

9am-3pm - ROC bus parked at the Capitol. Feel free to bring your information or brochures to display or send them in advance to the OTA. The OTA Advocacy Committee Members will be visiting with state officials regarding our future funding requests.

All transits are encouraged to schedule a visit with your legislative delegation, share your transit story, and/or invite them to step out and tour the ROC Bus!

You can find contact information for your Senator or Representative by using these links. Email or call them to set up a meeting and/or invite them to visit the ROC Bus at the Capitol. You can find a copy of the current OTA Legislative Priorities and Talking Points here.

Also, we encourage you to stress the importance of funding OK transit at or above the levels committed last year.

ODOT Announces Mobility Management Is Active in Two Areas

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is excited to share the news that the mobility management statewide program is officially active in two areas with plans to add more moving forward towards our goal of statewide mobility management services. The past year has brought some delays with identifying locations, agencies and a few funding hurdles. The result is two pilot programs and more coming soon.

NORTPO Northwest Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization - The new mobility manager, Chanler Cory, was hired at the end of January 2023 and serving Garfield, Noble and Kay Counties.

Chanler brings client advocacy and critical support experience from working with vulnerable individuals at Wings of Hope. She understands how to guide delicate situations and caring for people going through a crisis identifying resources to support critical needs. Chanler is currently training and meeting with the transportation providers in the area to understand services and see where mobility management can help.

Please join me in welcoming Chanler to the transit team!

SORTPO Southwest Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization - The new mobility navigator, Cristi Williams, is scheduled to start in June of 2023 serving Tillman, Kiowa and Jackson Counties

Please be patient as these programs will take some time to set up. Each program must pass board approvals, contracts, hiring process and other steps must be taken before the mobility manager can even get hired. The mobility managers will also undergo training and community assessments to establish the local programs. After these programs are established, they will be able to start to support and coordinate mobility solutions. A statewide information site is available about this program, and it is updated regularly. https://okmm.multiscreensite.com/  

Future projects: We have 80% in funding for the next 3-5 mobility management programs and just need the 20% local match. If your agency would like to participate in helping with local match, please contact Olivia at [email protected].

  • Durant area- Bryan, Atoka, Johnston and Coal
  • Tulsa UZA
  • Shawnee area

Mobility management is a transportation program that focuses on the coordinated use of a variety of transportation providers improving access to healthy living resources, healthcare, and employment through various activities. It aims to enhance transportation for veterans, older adults, people with disabilities, individuals with lower incomes, and the general public.

  • It brings the entire transportation landscape together to adjust and design services based on the transportation needs of individuals
  • It connects communities together encouraging innovation and new mobility projects
  • The program also improves transportation coordination and communication statewide, breaking barriers and removing silos

In other transportation news:

Coordinated Plans:

The human service coordinated plans are on track to be written (once every four years) for this year with meetings and surveys to assess the effectiveness of transportation and coordination needs. This is the public transit agencies and specialized transportation for seniors and individuals with disabilities. If you would like to participate in these meetings to be a part of transportation conversations in the planning stages, please let Olivia Hook at ODOT know.

Definition: The “coordinated plan” identifies the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, seniors, and people with low incomes; provides strategies for meeting those local needs; and prioritizes transportation services and projects for funding and implementation.

Funds Available in APTA Local Coalition Grant Program

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is formally announcing the availability of funding for local public transit alliances focused on grassroots advocacy efforts that can help achieve equitable local public transportation goals.


APTA will award grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to organizations that:

  1. Prioritize equitable transportation projects that improve access and mobility for underserved populations,
  2. Incorporate methods to increase citizen participation in the public engagement process, especially low-income and communities of color, and
  3. Promote safe and sustainably equitable transit policies that lessen the impacts of climate change on disadvantaged communities.

Communities with an immense focus on equity may be considered for additional funding outside of the maximum $10,000.


Additional activities could include projects in partnership with local Chambers of Commerce or other prominent business organizations that support public transportation and community mobility and efforts to educate decision-makers about policies favorable to public transportation.


Eligibility: Any local public transportation coalition is eligible, provided it has the support of the local APTA transit system member(s) and is a member of the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA). Membership in NAPTA is free. For this grant program, a coalition is defined as a collection of groups and/or individuals joined together for the common purpose of promoting transit.


Click here to apply! Applications are accepted through March 24, 2023.

Sign Up for the CTAA/OTA Joint Conference

and the OTA Roadeo

Time is Running Out to Register for the CTAA/OTA MEETING AND ROADEO!

OTA is excited to partner with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) to present educational and networking opportunities at a conference that will be held in Oklahoma City from May 21–25, 2023. Save your spot by signing up as soon as possible! At the CTAA/OTA Annual Joint Conference and the OTA Roadeo, OTA members are being given a special "OTA Only" discount!

In addition to providing our members from across the nation with an excellent opportunity to learn more about the regional challenges and successes of the Midwest, this conference is a great way for local communities to learn more about the community and public transit industry from a national perspective.

To participate in exclusive new events that bring together transit professionals, new programming with a renewed emphasis on tribal and rural issues, and local tours that will give visitors an inside look at their local transit systems and culture, secure your registration today! To receive our negotiated rate and to reserve a room as soon as possible for this event that is certain to sell out, use the code OTA2023, which is exclusively for OTA members!

Register - Click Here!


Does your transit have news to share? Tell us about it and we will include it on social media and in the e-news!

Muskogee County Transit Goes Green!

Muskogee is now home to Oklahoma’s first E-Transit van for public transportation. Muskogee County Transit announced the acquisition of the all-electric vehicle, making public transportation in Muskogee more eco-friendly.

“We are so excited to get the first of this kind in the state of Oklahoma and to take this step forward for a better future for public transit,” said Dena Wilson, Executive Director and CEO of Muskogee County Transit. “The difference in this van and others that are currently in existence is that this one came from the factory as an all-electric vehicle. Others have been retrofitted and converted from gasoline power.”

This vehicle is a 2022 Ford E-Transit 350, medium roof van, with a fully electric engine that holds five passengers and has room for two wheelchairs and a power operated chair lift. It was purchased from Creative Bus Sales, but will be serviced at James Hodge Ford in Muskogee. The vehicle sports a green exterior wrap from Reaction Wraps, to emphasize the vehicle’s “green” impact on the environment.

“This van has zero emissions and can travel 126 miles on one charge,” Wilson said. “Maintenance costs are estimated to be much less than a gasoline van and it can still offer everything that we need in a public transit vehicle.” The acquisition of the vehicle has been several years in the making and became a passion of Wilson’s. “I knew it could be done,” Wilson said. “And, I’m glad that Muskogee gets to be the first to do it. Now that it’s here, it’s better than I ever could have imagined.”

"This is just a little evidence of the hard work going on behind the scenes, to provide the best service we can to Muskogee County," said Mary Hicks, Chair of the Muskogee County Transit Board.

The new vehicle will hit the streets on Monday, March 13 and will service riders in Muskogee County. Congrats to Muskogee County and the #WeDriveMuskogee team for going green!


EMBARK is excited to announce that Stephanie Davis, Mobility Coordinator for the award-winning Climb Ride Program, was named the 2022 Kiwanis Employee of the Year by the City of Oklahoma. Davis was honored by the Oklahoma City Mayor and City Council in January 2023. 

In addition, EMBARK’s Mobility Management Administrator and ADA Coordinator, Dr. Marilyn Dillon was selected as the Oklahoma Woman of the Year by WTS International’s Oklahoma Chapter. WTS is a professional organization that promotes equity and the advancement of women in the transportation industry.  

The Climb Ride Program is a highly innovative and successful mobility program working with Oklahoma Department of Human Services child welfare cases in Oklahoma County. You can read about the Climb Ride Program at www.embarkok.com/climb-ride.


OTA Debuts ROC Bus Brochure!

The Rolling Oklahoma Classroom (ROC) is an FTA funded grant initiative that provides hands-on mobile training to transit agencies and transit awareness for the public. Training opportunities include human trafficking awareness, mobility issues understanding, wheelchair securement training, transit availability options and career opportunities. Check our our new brochure below.

Brochure Link

Have you Requested Your ROC Bus Visit?

The Rolling Oklahoma Classroom is designed to enhance awareness of public transit options in rural, tribal and urban communities. It will also provide hands-on safety and security training for transit workers and address human trafficking awareness and prevention across the state. It is available to every community, tribal nation, and public event in Oklahoma by request and at no cost. Organizations interested in requesting a ROC Bus can complete the request form or online. Contact the OTA [email protected] for additional information.

OTA Committee Members Needed!

Interested in Volunteering?

OTA is seeking committee members! OTA has a several committees that help drive transit forward in Oklahoma and would love your help! Most committees take no more than 1-2 hours per month and meet via Zoom. If you are interested, please contact the OTA office to learn more or sign up!

  • ROC Bus Committee
  • Advocacy Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Grants Committee
  • Education Committee
  • Convention Committee
  • Membership Committee


If you have any questions about committees, please contact Andrea Ball at [email protected]

Click here to learn more about the committees.

Have you renewed your OTA Membership?

Renew Today!




The world today good news! In this day and age, a kind word and a steady presence is especially meaningful. Professional drivers know that their job has the potential to change a person’s day for the better. A kind word and reliable transportation are the mark of quality customer service. Help the OTA to recognize these special individuals who go out of their way to care for others! Submit "Drivers Doing Good" stories or photos by sending an email to [email protected].

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