SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!

Our weekly “411 on the 405” email gives you all the OKC news you can use in an ultra-convenient digest format right in your inbox, no surfing required.

* indicates required
Email Format

View previous campaigns.

Sponsor

Sponsor

Tag Cloud

accolade
adult sports
Adventure District
aerospace
Arcadia
arts and culture
Asian District
attractions
Automobile Alley
aviation
ballet
bar
baseball
basketball
beer
Bethany
bioscience
bmx
Boathouse District
breweries
Bricktown
business
calendar
camping
camps
career tech
cars
Choctaw
Classen Curve
climate
college
community
concerts
cost of living
Crown Heights
cycling
Davis
day-trip
Deep Deuce
Deer Creek
Dodgers
downtown
Edmond
education
El Reno
election
employment
energy
entrepreneur
equine
family-friendly
farmers market
Farmers Market District
festivals
film
Film Row
fishing
fitness
food
football
free
gardening
golf
government
Guthrie
healthy living
Heritage Hills
Historic Capitol Hill
history
hockey
holiday
horse show
housing
Innovation District
internship
Jefferson Park
jobs
Jones
kid
kids
Kingfisher
Lake Aluma
Lake Hefner
library
live music
live sporting events
local farms
local goods
MAPS
Mesta Park
Midtown
Midwest City
military
Moore
mountain biking
movies
moving
museums
music
Mustang
Myriad Botanical Gardens
native american
networking
Nicoma Park
nightlife
nonprofit
Norman
OKC Energy
OKC National Memorial
Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City history
Oklahoma River
outdoor recreation
parade
parks
Paseo District
Pauls Valley
pets
Piedmont
Plaza District
Prague
Project 180
public transportation
publication
racetrack
Rayo
religion
restaurants
retail
Route 66
running
school
shopping
soccer
social media
spring break
State Fair Park
Stillwater
Stockyards
streetcar
Sulphur
tech
theater
Thunder
Tinker
Tuttle
university
Uptown 23
velocity
Visit OKC
volunteer
water sports
weather
Western Avenue
western heritage
wine
youth sports
Yukon
zoo
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Streetcar celebration

OKC Streetcar

Mark Dec. 14 on your calendars because it will be a historic day for our city as the Oklahoma City Streetcar officially opens for business. The celebration will start at 10 a.m. in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City at the Business District Platform in the plaza of Leadership Square.

The grand opening weekend will be full of live entertainment, special promotions and family activities. Also don’t forget that the streetcar will be free through January 5! You can read more about the special grand opening events here.

The modern streetcar system was approved by voters in 2009 as part of the MAPS 3 package. As of now the streetcar is scheduled for 17 hours of service daily Monday through Thursday (7 a.m. to 12 a.m.) and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturday nights. Service will run on Sundays for special events like Thunder games and conventions. There are two “loops” or streetcar routes. The main Downtown Loop, or “D Line,” is 4.86 miles long and will service all 22 stops and carry passengers through five downtown districts. The Bricktown Loop (“B Line”) is 2.04 miles long, will only service the southern portion of the route, and will run on Saturdays and during special events.

streetcar, MAPS, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

MAPS 3 Update

Streetcar

The huge success of previous MAPS projects led to a vote in late 2009 that approved of a one-cent sales tax to pay for debt-free projects that improve our quality of life. MAPS 3 consists of eight different projects; several of the projects have been completed, and the last project is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

  • The MAPS 3 Convention Center to replace the current aging convention center is located directly south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This new center will help the city stay competitive in the lucrative convention industry for years to come. A 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 45,000-square-foot meeting space and 30,000-square-foot ballroom are all included in the $288 million budget for the convention center. Construction is underway on this cornerstone of the ongoing Core-to-Shore renaissance in downtown OKC, and it is expected to open by June 2020.
  • Construction is also underway to the immediate west of the new convention center for a 70-acre urban oasis christened Scissortail Park. Design plans for the park call for everything from a café and sports facilities to a lake and nature trails. Scissortail features two sections, a 40-acre north section scheduled for completion in 2019 and a 30-acre south section projected to be complete in 2021.
  • In a transformative moment for public transit in OKC, a budget of $131 million is being put towards linking major employers, businesses, attractions and residences in the downtown area. Construction for the modern streetcar transit system can be seen at a number of route sections along with safety testing at others in preparation for the streetcar service to begin this December. The streetcar project will connect Midtown, Automobile Alley, Bricktown and the Business District.
  • The State Fairgrounds hosts more than 200 trade shows and other events throughout the year, including several equine events that helped Oklahoma City earn the title of Horse Show Capital of the World. MAPS 3 added to the appeal of Oklahoma State Fairgrounds with the Bennett Event Center. Its design makes for a state-of-the-art flexible facility capable of comfortably accommodating a wide variety of shows and events. The 279,000-square-foot event center was completed in 2017 and its operations are in full swing.
  • Senior Health & Wellness Centers will connect OKC’s seniors with important services and also with each other. Two of the four planned centers are completed, with the third to be completed in 2019 and fourth in 2021. The centers will be spread around the city and have experienced operating partners in senior services.
  • The Oklahoma River has become an Olympic rowing destination, so MAPS 3 expanded on current operations by building the RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center along the river with additional improvements to existing rowing facilities. The whitewater park is suitable for beginners enjoying a summer weekend or elite kayaking competitions.
  • Former Mayor Mick Cornett emphasized a healthier community during his tenure and the MAPS 3 trails and sidewalk improvements promote a more active lifestyle by taking advantage of OKC’s natural beauty. Three trails were developed using MAPS funds: West River Trail was completed in 2015, Will Rogers Trail was completed earlier this year and Lake Draper Trail is set to be complete this fall. The trails wind through wetlands, wooded areas, natural landscapes, neighborhoods and more urban settings. MAPS 3 sidewalks are planned for the areas with a high demand for pedestrian amenities.

Stay up to date on all MAPS 3 news by signing up for the MAPS 3 newsletter or following the efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

outdoor recreation, parks, public transportation, State Fair Park, streetcar, community, downtown, MAPS, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Coming “rail” soon

Streetcar Testing

If you’ve spent anytime near downtown recently you know that something big is happening. That something big is the OKC Streetcar and we are just months away from launch day. That is right, this December you will be able to ride the OKC Streetcar throughout downtown.

The Oklahoma City Streetcar will include five cars, each circulating to 22 stops along 4.8 miles of track, with an average time of 12 to 14 minutes between cars. Each car can carry 104 passengers through two main loops: a Bricktown loop and a Midtown-Business District-Automobile Alley cross-sectional. You can view a map of the routes here.

The streetcar will be an affordable, accessible, convenient alternative for office commuters, convention attendees, tourists and others visiting our great city. A single trip will cost $1, and a day pass will be $3. Monthly passes will be $32 and an annual pass will cost $384.

As of the beginning of July, 87 percent of track had been placed and 78 percent of stops had been completed. Six streetcars are currently in the maintenance facility with a seventh arriving at the end of October. Streetcar operation testing on the Bricktown loop is currently underway.

Construction and adjustment is still ongoing in several locations. Specific road and lane closures through Sept. 1 can be found in this report from the City of Oklahoma City MAPS 3 site. General information for the OKC Streetcar can be found on the EMBARK Streetcar page or on the City of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 Streetcar page.

You wanted it, you paid for it and now it’s time you got it. Keep your eyes on December: the OKC Streetcar is coming rail soon.

Bricktown, downtown, MAPS, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



EMBARK around OKC

EMBARK Bus

Whether you’re commuting to work, meeting friends, running errands or just visiting, EMBARK buses have you covered with service to much of the Oklahoma City metro area. EMBARK won the 2016 Achievement Award for North America’s Outstanding Public Transit System. Each route’s hours of operation vary, but many popular routes run about every 30 minutes during weekdays and every 60 minutes on Saturday.

There are 23 interconnecting bus routes in the OKC metro area identifiable via a three digit route ID. For a full map of bus routes, visit this helpful PDF.

With the “EMBARK Connect” app, you will be able to quickly submit requests, report issues such as bus shelter graffiti, service issues, or ask a question. Users can simply open the app, select an issue, take a picture, and tap submit – the app knows the exact location and sends the issue directly to EMBARK staff. The app also allows you to track the status of your requests.

Here are some of EMBARK’s tips on How to Ride:

  1. Arrive at the stop at least 5 minutes early and wait at a stop where the operator can see you.
  2. Be ready to board with exact change or valid pass.
  3. Check the sign above the front window as the bus approaches to make sure it’s the line and destination you want.
  4. Signal the operator that you wish to board.
  5. Along the route, major stops and intersections will be announced. If you’re not familiar with the area, you can ask the operator to announce your destination.
  6. When you want to get off, pull the bell cord or push the plastic strip near the window to request the next stop.
community, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



All aboard the Heartland Flyer

Heartland Flyer and Downtown OKC

The Heartland Flyer train service between Oklahoma City and Ft. Worth, Texas, is made up of three coach cars which feature an upper level coach section with spacious reclining seats, complete with individual reading lights and large windows. Of the three cars, the lower level of Superliner II Coach car contains a full-service café car with an attendant and features snacks, sandwiches, soft drinks, cocktails, souvenirs, and sofa style seating where guests can visit and watch the scenery glide by.

Once the Flyer arrives in Fort Worth, the service goes no farther. However, you can connect to the Texas Eagle and go all the way to Chicago and further east; south to Austin and San Antonio; and West to Los Angeles three days a week via San Antonio.

You can purchase tickets or make reservations online, or you can call Amtrak directly at 1-800-872-7245. Specific prices are not available through the Heartland Flyer website. To inquire about price information, contact Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245. Price varies depending on how far in advance the reservation is made and how full the train is. Children under the age of 16 travel at half the fare, while kids 12 and under qualify for an annual Kid’s Club Membership.

Heartland Flyer’s service typically departs from OKC at 8:25 a.m. daily and the train depot is located at 100 E.K. Gaylord, directly east of the Cox Convention Center. Parking is limited at the depot, though nearby covered parking garages are more likely to be available. Be sure to arrive early enough to ensure no delays that could cause you to miss the train!

day-trip, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

MAPS 3 projects are making progress

MAPS3 Streetcar delivery

If you have been around Oklahoma City for long, chances are you have heard about the Metropolitan Area Projects and how they have transformed Oklahoma City into the vibrant hub that it is today (we confess that it is one of our favorite topics). Right now, construction is underway on several of the eight MAPS 3 projects that voters approved in 2009. Read on for an update on the progress that is moving Oklahoma City forward.

MAPS 3 Trails
Because of MAPS 3, Oklahoma City is becoming better connected and healthier through the addition of three trails to the Oklahoma City trails system. The MAPS 3’s Will Rogers Trail opened in March and it connects Lake Hefner with the Oklahoma River – that’s 8.1 miles added to the trail system, and all but two blocks are protected for pedestrians and cyclists.

Also in March, city officials broke ground on the MAPS 3 Lake Draper Trail, which circles Lake Stanley Draper with a 13-mile path. The $12.6 million trail is expected to be completed this fall. The Lake Draper and Will Rogers trails join the 7.5-mile West River Trail, which was completed in 2015, in connecting thousands of residents, workers, shoppers and visitors to the growing Oklahoma City trails system.

Oklahoma City Streetcar
Have you noticed all the construction in downtown Oklahoma City? While it may be inconvenient now, those growing pains are leading to the completion of the MAPS 3 Oklahoma City Streetcar, the future of public transit in Oklahoma City. The first streetcar was delivered to Oklahoma City in February and testing has already begun on the completed rails. Want to see the streetcar for yourself? The public is invited to the MAPS 3 OKC Streetcar open house on March 30. The first 300 people get a free streetcar t-shirt at the event, which runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the OKC Streetcar Storage and Maintenance Facility at Southwest Seventh Street and Hudson Avenue.

Oklahoma City Convention Center
Conventions and events are big business in Oklahoma City. In fact, the hospitality industry is the third-largest in our region – and it’s growing. A big part of that growth is the MAPS 3 Downtown Oklahoma City Convention Center, which will replace the aging Cox Convention Center.

The new convention center and its adjacent headquarters hotel will allow Oklahoma City to compete for 80 percent or more of the events held in the United States, further developing the region’s hospitality industry. The $277 million center, which is projected to open in 2020, will feature nearly 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom and 45,000 square feet of additional meeting space. Oklahoma City Council has approved designs and opened the bidding process for construction is open, with the groundbreaking scheduled for later this year.

Can’t get enough of the debt-free public projects that are transforming Oklahoma City? Sign up for the MAPS 3 newsletter

running, streetcar, cycling, MAPS, outdoor recreation, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Getting around

Skydance Bridge over I 40 at night

Don’t know your I-40s from your I-35s? What exactly is a Broadway Extension and why is it extended to begin with? Learning to get around your new hometown is one of the most overwhelming aspects of relocating. If you are wondering about anything from bus service to our airport, be sure to visit the transportation page of our website. When you combine Oklahoma City’s efficient traffic grid with the fact it sits at the center of several major interstates, it is easy to see why the metro has one of the shortest commute averages in the U.S.  In Oklahoma City, it is simply easier to get around. Next year it is going to get even easier when the Oklahoma City Streetcar makes its debut.

community, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Embark makes busing better

EMBARK bus

There are a multitude of benefits to taking the bus over a car when traveling in and around the OKC metro. For one, if more people take the bus, it reduces traffic and congestion on city streets and highways. It also reduces emissions, thus improving air quality and takes the stress out of driving.

Oklahoma City’s public transportation system is run by Embark, which won an award last year as North America’s outstanding public transit system. If you’re unsure about how the buses work in OKC, their website has a plethora of resources and videos so you can board the public transportation train (okay…bus) in OKC like a seasoned pro.

public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



The future is almost here. Excited yet?

Streetcar Ground Breaking

Last week, the first of seven streetcars came off the assembly line and will soon be painted and shipped to OKC. If you drive or do a bit of walking around Bricktown, you can see the freshly installed tracks where the streetcar will run. And, if you read or hear anything on the news about the streetcar, you can feel the palpable excitement OKCitians have for this groundbreaking project.

The installation and soon-to-be operation of the streetcar reflects the growth of OKC’s downtown core as a result of the booming success of the other MAPS projects. In fact, the OKC Streetcar itself will be transformative, as many city leaders are expecting its installation to result in greater sales and property tax revenue for the city like similar installations in Kansas City. But, even more important than positive economic impact, the OKC Streetcar will have a positive influence on OKC’s culture for years to come.

downtown, MAPS, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MAPS 3 update

MAPS 3 Health and Wellness Center ribbon cutting

Milestone is the word of the week as three MAPS 3 projects have recently hit major landmarks in development.

First, the MAPS 3 Streetcar groundbreaking recently took place, and construction is underway with service projected to begin by the end of 2018. The streetcar will connect residents and visitors to downtown Oklahoma City districts and attractions, including Bricktown, the Myriad Gardens, Chesapeake Energy, Midtown and Automobile Alley. The main line and Bricktown loop will encompass 6.9 miles of track.

Second, the first of four MAPS 3 Senior Health and Wellness Centers recently opened, providing services that promote healthy and active lifestyles to Oklahoma City seniors. Construction on the second wellness center is underway and is set to open later this year with the third and fourth wellness centers set to open in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

Third, the preliminary design for the MAPS 3 Downtown Convention Center was recently approved, moving the project one step closer to its scheduled groundbreaking later this year. The convention center will be adjacent to the future MAPS 3 Park and south of Chesapeake Energy Arena with 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, 45,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom.

Oh, and did we forget to mention the MAPS 3 Park will soon have its name? More than 3,500 name ideas have been submitted for the park, with a few already standing out from the crowd. The deadline to submit a name is April 7, so act now.

downtown, MAPS, public transportation, streetcar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Moving Made Easy: Transportation

OKC Downtown Skyline and highway interchange

One thing that might surprise newcomers to the 4-0-5 is just how big Oklahoma City is. The city covers 620 square miles, making it one of the top three largest cities in America by land size. In a city that size transportation is crucial.

The good news is that Oklahoma City sits at the crossroads of three major interstates. If your preferred mode of transportation is automobile…well you won’t spend much time there. Out of the biggest 52 metros in the U.S., OKC had the third-lowest commute time.

As the population of the metro continues to grow, public transportation is also key. EMBARK is Oklahoma City’s bus system and has recently won a trio of prestigious awards. We also have a popular bike sharing program called Spokies.

One of the most anticipated transportation projects (heck developments of any kind) is the upcoming MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar. The final route for the streetcar was recently approved, the streetcars are on order, and construction on the line is underway (please pardon our progress).

If you are looking to travel outside of the metro, come home soon, but check out Will Rogers World Airport and the Heartland Flyer. The airport boasts seven airlines with 22 nonstop flights and the train makes daily trips to Ft. Worth (with connections further south) with several stops along the way. 

For more information on transportation in OKC our website is a great start.

cycling, day-trip, MAPS, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

EMBARK on a bus ride

Roy on an EMBARK bus

Don’t miss the bus! EMBARK, Oklahoma City’s bus system, won a national award this year due to the system’s growth and improvements that have been implemented. The American Public Transportation Association named Embark the “Outstanding Public Transportation System” for systems providing less than 4 million annual passenger trips. And it just keeps getting better: the system is now boasting realigned routes that improve frequency, upgraded bus stops with double the number of shelters, Wi-Fi on every bus, real-time arrival information and other mobile tools, and best of all, expanded service hours until midnight on four of the most popular routes. Check out embarkok.com for routes, schedules, fares, “how to ride” info and more.

public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Streetcar surprises

Streetcar branding

It’s been a banner year for the upcoming OKC Streetcar system. In addition to the release of the branding and colors, the City Council approved two routes for the initial system, the purchase of up to six streetcars from Brookville Equipment Corporation, and a contractor for the installation of the rails. Things are really “moving along” when it comes to the OKC Streetcar, and we can’t wait to start riding in 2018. Keep up with the MAPS 3 news archive on the City’s website.

MAPS, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Free ride Friday

Embark Bus

Did you know that on the third Friday of each month EMBARK is offering free bus rides? Well, now you do. Since 2011, EMBARK has provided the Third Friday program to encourage those who don’t normally ride the bus to give it a try. The program also helps reduce emissions and improve our air quality during the dog days of summer.

The buses also provide free Wi-Fi so you can get some work done while saving on gas money and helping the environment. The program will continue through Sept. 16 so visit www.embarkok.com to plan your trip today.

free, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Moving Made Easy: Transportation

business man on EMBARK bus

One thing that might surprise newcomers to the 4-0-5 is just how big Oklahoma City is. The city covers 620 square miles, making it one of the top three largest cities in America by land size. In a city that size transportation is crucial.

The good news is that Oklahoma City sits at the crossroads of three major interstates. If your preferred mode of transportation is automobile … well you won’t spend much time there. Out of the biggest 52 metros in the U.S., OKC had the third-lowest commute time.

As the population of the metro continues to grow, public transportation is also key. EMBARK is Oklahoma City’s bus system and has recently won a trio of prestigious awards. We also have a popular bike sharing program called Spokies.

One of the most anticipated transportation projects (heck, one of the most anticipated developments of any kind) is the upcoming MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar. The final route for the streetcar was recently approved, the streetcars are on order, and construction on the line is slated to begin this year.

If you are looking to travel outside of the metro, come home soon, but check out Will Rogers World Airport and the Heartland Flyer. The airport boasts seven airlines with 22 nonstop flights and the train makes daily trips to Ft. Worth (with connections further south) with several stops along the way. 

For more information on transportation in OKC our website is a great start.

community, MAPS, public transportation, streetcar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Setting the Streetcar Scene

Streetcar Rendering

Ding ding ding, the new streetcar system will make us sing! (Or at least cut down on our downtown car driving.) But truly, one of our most-anticipated MAPS 3 projects is the modern streetcar and transit hub. The initial six-mile system is hoped to jump-start a new era of clean mass transit and help connect many of the downtown area’s up-and-coming districts, workplaces, public amenities, and more. The project also provides funds to renovate the Santa Fe station into a new intermodal transit hub, where riders can switch from one mode of transit to another, in addition to providing a new pedestrian portal to Bricktown.

Curious about the route? Here’s a map of the approved framework, and here is a cool animation of what it might be like to ride. Phase I is scheduled for completion by 2018, with Phase 2 in 2021. (Wait for it…) All aboard! (You knew we were going to go there eventually.)

public transportation, streetcar, downtown, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Streetcar Stories

OKC streets 1900s

Speaking of streetcars, did you know OKC’s first streetcar system was actually installed more than 110 years ago? Putting in a streetcar system in the early “aughts” was difficult, but as a great man once said, “if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

All the “Back to the Future” streetcar jokes aside, in the city’s early days, OKC’s increasing density made public mass transit a part of its destiny. As Oklahoma City continued to experience ridiculous levels of growth after the Land Run (OKC’s population more than doubled – twice -- from 1890 to 1910), something other than horses and their requisite, er, “crab apples” was needed to get people and goods around the increasingly crowded urban environment in a clean, safe manner. City leaders had no interest in seeing citizens make like a tree and get out of here, so familiar names John Shartel and Anton Classen formed the Metropolitan Railway Company in 1902, and the following year electric-powered streetcars replaced beefarino-fueled raw horsepower as the transportation mode of choice for Oklahoma Citians. By 1911, interurban lines to El Reno, Norman and Guthrie were established, along with Moore and Edmond.

Want more? Our friends at the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) have a cool interactive historic streetcar route map on their website, with equally awesome photos taken at different points along the various routes. Great Scott! Check it out, and get hyped for the MAPS 3 streetcar.

streetcar, Oklahoma City history, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Hop on the Bus, Gus

Embark Bus

Go ahead and drop off the car keys, Lee. You don’t need to discuss much, because with EMBARK you can get yourself free, for minimal cost. The city’s bus system has added routes, frequency and even night service recently, so even if you’ve considered using the bus in the past, you may want to make a new bus-inclusive plan, Stan, because there must be something like “fifty routes to rediscover.” (OK, actually more like 22, but still!) Curious about how to ride? EMBARK has a handy web guide for that, in addition to a route planner and even an app. If you’re downtown, the Downtown Discovery (Route 50) is currently free and is a great way to get around and see some of the sights as you begin to see the light on the bus riding action, so check it out.

public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)