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Open invitation to participate in public transportation plans

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Virtual public transportation forums are scheduled to be held February 15 at 1:00 p.m. and February 17 at 11:00 a.m. through virtual/video meetings. All residents, officials and organization representatives are invited. United Community Action Program, Inc./Cimarron Public Transit is requesting feedback related to its public transportation and Title VI Nondiscrimination and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan for Creek, Kay, Osage, Pawnee and Washington counties. Comments are due March 18, 2022.

Staff needs input from riders, local businesses, municipalities, social service agencies, Tribes, private providers, health facilities, elected officials and the general public to assist in preparing for the transit program’s future. As part of the public engagement process, Cimarron Transit shall seek input, provide education and highlight key components of the 2022-2025 Title VI/LEP Plan.

Cimarron Transit promotes the full and fair participation of all affected Title VI populations in transportation decision making. Every effort is made to ensure the level and quality of transit service is provided without regard to race, color or national origin and that meaningful access is available to persons with Limited English Proficiency. The advantage of receiving open communication aids the program in better matching service and with needs. Cimarron Transit will be planning for a variety of scenarios during these uncertain times, according to Laura Corff, transit director. “Priorities will focus on sustainability, aligning available resources to fulfil the most needs.”

In addition to the virtual forums, Cimarron Transit will conduct a public comment period to allow greater opportunity for feedback on the transportation and Title VI Nondiscrimination and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plans. The current Title VI Non Discrimination and LEP obligations can be reviewed on the website at https://ucapinc.org/cpts or shared by contacting Corff.

Cimarron Transit recently submitted a letter of intent to Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to apply for federal assistance for program year 2023, to operate a rural transportation program in the areas of Bartlesville, Bristow, Cleveland, Dewey, Drumright, Kellyville, Mannford, Oilton, Pawhuska, Pawnee, Ponca City, Sapulpa and Skiatook. Annually, Cimarron Transit asks for comments from citizens regarding transportation needs and issues. The transportation plan will be incorporated into the annual application for funding under Section 5311 formula grants for rural areas, which is due to the Transit Program Division of ODOT in early spring.

Public clarifications and comments assist staff in better understanding challenges and concerns from residents and the community’s perspective. “Every ride and every rider matters. Open forums and opportunity for public engagement provide a place to share ideas and comments to enhance the rider experience, foster the community and create efficiencies in the program to fulfill the mission to provide safe and reliable public transportation in the areas we serve. We are dedicated to maintaining open communication to gain valuable insight as well as strengthen community partnerships,” Corff said.