EMBARK and OKC officials introduce RAPID BRT vehicle design

May 27, 2022
The RAPID brand was known, but how that brand would translate into visuals on a vehicle on display for the first time at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.

Oklahoma City residents got their first up close introduction to what will become a more familiar site this fall: RAPID buses sporting the bus rapid transit (BRT) brand’s signature dark gray, light aqua blue and neon green colors.

Branding for the RAPID BRT was approved in November 2021. Officials with the city and EMBARK unveiled the new bus design at the Oklahoma City Convention Center where the public was able to see and tour the vehicle for the first time.

“It is a privilege to share the first look of the most public-facing piece of EMBARK’s RAPID BRT service in an event open to the public,” said EMBARK Administrator Jason Ferbrache. “Our RAPID vehicles provide an elevated level of luxury for our customers. As we continue to advance and expand our transit options, we want to show our commitment to the satisfaction and accessibility of our service lines.”

Construction is expected to begin in 30-45 days on EMBARK’s first BRT line that will span 9.5 miles, includes 32 stops and integrates into the existing transit network. The Northwest RAPID BRT will connect what is described as one of Oklahoma City’s “most job-dense and high-traffic corridors.” More than 20 percent of the region’s jobs are within a half-mile of the first BRT line.

“The goal of RAPID is to expand regional mobility, increase access to jobs and improve our customers’ abilities to connect within destinations that are important to them,” said Ferbrache. “This line travels through one of the region’s most job-dense areas that also has a population of 40,000 residents in its immediate area. This unveiling is another step forward to make RAPID a reality for our customers and all central Oklahoma residents. We look forward to next month’s groundbreaking for the first RAPID platform.”

The BRT project will be operated using nine compressed natural gas 40-foot buses from New Flyer. The vehicles feature wider doors, luxury seating and other amenities.

The $28.9 million Northwest RAPID BRT project is being funded by contributions from OKC Public Works, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Federal Transportation Administration. The city was awarded a $14.4 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant in 2018 for the BRT project.

The Northwest RAPID BRT is expected to open for service this fall.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.