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Edmond officials question CitiLink express bus route change plan

Proposed CitiLink bus route change would provide service from Edmond to new Social Security building in northwest Oklahoma City.
by Diana Baldwin and William Crum Modified: September 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: September 2, 2013

Edmond officials have more questions than answers on a proposal to change the route and make an extra stop on the city's express route to Oklahoma City so there will be bus service to the new Social Security building being constructed in northwest Oklahoma City.

Developers Mark Ruffinand Nick Preftakes, of Precor Realty Advisors Inc., made a request to the Edmond Public Transportation Committee to alter the Expresslink route so a stop can be made at the new building on the corner of N Kelley Avenue and NE 122.

Transportation Committee members didn't discuss the request because it was only listed as a presentation on the meeting agenda.

Randel Shadid, attorney for Ruffin and Preftakes said, he is continuing to discuss the request with city staff and plans to return to the transportation committee meeting.

After the express bus leaves Edmond, it now goes south on Eastern, west on Britton and south on the Broadway Extension to downtown. On the way back from downtown via the state Capitol, it goes north on Lincoln, east on Interstate 44 and north on Eastern Avenue to Edmond.

Shadid wants the express bus to alter its route from Eastern to Memorial or to NE 122 so it will drive past to the new Social Security building.

“There is no additional mileage,” Shadid said. “Granted, there are more turns and a stop that will take longer. Of course, time is money.”

Shadid offered financial assistance, but said he is continuing to negotiate with the city an amount.

Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said cost is an issue because Citylink's budget is already tight and ridership continues to grow each month.

Edmond officials have relied on federal funding to help pay for the city's public transportation system. Those funds are starting to dwindle and city leaders had to come up with an additional $50,000 to make Citylink's $1.7 million budget this fiscal year. Citylink passengers ride free.

“This is a financial issue,” said Caldwell, the chairwoman of the Edmond Public Transportation Committee. “It is unknown to everyone what the ridership would be from the Social Security office. The Expresslink is pretty full now.”

Expresslink provided 63,825 rides last fiscal year. In July, 5,669 rides on Expresslink were counted.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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