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Study examines improving OKC's public transportation



By 2030, Oklahoma City could join the ranks of a handful of bustling U.S. cities with public transportation options if local officials follow the plan determined by the Fixed Guideway Study.

The study identifies potential solutions for the transportation issues facing Oklahoma.

Fully implemented, the plan would include:
" improvements to the existing bus system,
" the creation of a modern streetcar system downtown, and
" the establishment of a commuter rail system based on freight train tracks already in place.

The study results were presented to the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority " METRO Transit " in December 2005.

"When you look at the examples of successful metropolitan communities throughout the country, one of the things that sets apart the ones that seem to be very successful is the presence of a viable public transportation system," said Mike McAnelly, senior planner at Carter & Burgess in Dallas and consultant for the study.

The study first identified all possible transportation options and rated them on criteria such as:
" accessibility,
" flexibility,
" compatibility with existing systems, and
" environmental impact.

If city officials approve the steering committee's recommendation, the process will move to raise an estimated $389.2 million total, through federal grants and local tax programs.

McAnelly will discuss the study at the sixth annual Oklahoma Sustainability Network Conference, to be held Friday and Saturday at the National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd. in Norman. "Chris Willard


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