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South West Transit Association

EMBARK Releases 2021 Customer Satisfaction Findings

Oklahoma City Leads Nation in Public Transit Customer Satisfaction

OKLAHOMA CITY – EMBARK officials recently released findings from the 2021 Transit Rider Survey for its fixed-route bus and OKC Streetcar services. Over 1,400 responses were compiled among Oklahoma City and Norman bus and OKC Streetcar customers to yield findings in rider frequency of use, satisfaction, preferences and demographic information. The survey results were presented to the Oklahoma City Council at its Tuesday, July 19, meeting and to the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority board of Trustees in May.


Since 2016, satisfaction with EMBARK’s fixed-route bus service has increased by 9%, with 78% of customers reporting to be satisfied or very satisfied with the service. Satisfaction with EMBARK Norman bus services increased 2% since 2020 to 90%. OKC Streetcar customer satisfaction soared to 97%, a 17% increase since 2020.


“It is very clear from the results of this latest customer satisfaction survey that EMBARK is leading the nation in providing quality bus and streetcar service,” Chris Tatham, ETC Institute Chief Executive Officer said. “Overall customer satisfaction with EMBARK’s services is well above the national average and has continued to improve, even in the face of challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Overall, EMBARK and EMBARK Norman riders care most about on-time arrivals, availability of accessible bus stops and frequency of service.


“Our customer surveys get to the heart of how we’re serving those who rely on EMBARK services in their everyday lives,” said Suzanne Wickenkamp, Assistant Director of Administration at EMBARK. “It is a critical aspect of our service planning and helps ensure that our short and long-term plans align with our customers’ needs and expectations.”


Results from the Oklahoma City Transit Rider Survey include:

  • 76% ride their route three or more days per week
  • 40% stated the purpose of their trip was to get to work
  • 70% make one to two transfers to reach their destination
  • 52% walk 6 minutes or more to reach a bus stop
  • 74% rated "Ease of getting service information" as satisfied or very satisfied
  • 77% reported the bus was operated safely
  • 79% rated “Ease of paying your fare” as satisfied or very satisfied
  • Riders were asked to indicate one improvement they would like to see in the transit service area. 20% of respondents indicated they would like to see more hourly routes from 7 p.m. to midnight, a sentiment echoed in the OKC Moves Final Report.


Results from the Norman Transit Rider Survey include:

  • 64% ride their route five or more days per week
  • 30% stated the purpose of their trip was to get to school
  • 70% make zero to one transfer to reach their destination
  • 87% rated "Ease of getting service information" as excellent or good
  • 95% reported the bus was operated safely
  • 93% rate “Courtesy of drivers” as satisfied or very satisfied
  • Riders were asked to indicate one improvement they would like to see in the transit service area. 22% indicated more frequent service on weekends and 22% indicated later service on weekends.



Wickenkamp said that technology and its ease of use has been a priority for EMBARK in recent years, and that focus was evident in a 15% increase in riders’ use of and 24% increase in riders’ use of for trip planning. Use of the EMBARK Connect App also increased by 3% and 19%, respectively. In early 2023, EMBARK will launch a new family of websites that will further enhance the customer transit experience and make its service information even easier to access. 


Results from the EMBARK Streetcar survey include:

  • EMBARK has extremely high satisfaction ratings for the services it provides through the OKC Streetcar. The OKC Streetcar received satisfaction ratings (sum of very satisfied/satisfied responses) of 90% or higher in 13 of 14 Streetcar service items analyzed. The top four items were: Cleanliness of stop/platform (98%), Cleanliness of the Streetcar (98%), Safety while riding on the Streetcar (97%), Streetcar arriving on time (97%)
  • 68% of Streetcar riders indicated they were visiting downtown; an increase of 4% since 2020 and an increase of 6% since 2019
  • Average daily passenger count for the OKC Streetcar increased 21% from 2021 to 2022. 
  • 61% of Streetcar riders indicated the main purpose of their trip was for groceries, getting necessities, and/or dining out.
  • What was interestingly higher, compared to 2020 results, 13% indicated they typically travel around the downtown area via Rideshare (Uber, taxi, Lyft). This is an increase of 10% since 2020.
  • Streetcar riders were asked if the Streetcar could be extended, which area would they like to see it extended to. 38% would like it to be extended to Uptown, 23% would like to see it extended to the Plaza District, 18% would like to see it extended to Capitol Hill, and 10% would like to see it extended to OUHSC.


Conducted by ETC Institute, a market research firm specializing in gathering survey data for governmental organizations, the bus customer survey was conducted in March 2022 and the OKC Streetcar survey was conducted in December 2021.


Full survey reports from 2007- current are available for download from




Media Contact

Michael Scroggins

[email protected]

O (405) 297-2107  M  (405) 837-9510


EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City

EMBARK's vision is to be world-class transportation that is accessible to all, and all want to access it. EMBARK's mission is to be a self-sustaining transportation network that removes barriers of location and socioeconomic status, while elevating the status and use of public transportation so all of central Oklahoma can safely and quickly reach their destination.

Additional Info

Media Contact : Michael Scroggins [email protected]

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