|Updated: 10/24/2012 9:30 am
||Published: 10/23/2012 8:49 pm
Tuesday city councilors stepped out of the office, and into the world of the people they serve.
Many of those people don't have transportation, so they take the bus. For some of the counselors, it was their first trip on the Tulsa Transit.
"I do this everyday, everyday I’m on the bus," said Precious Miller.
Most days, Miller uses the bus to get to work. She also takes the bus to go grocery shopping.
"It is pretty difficult when we're running errands because we have time crunches," said Miller.
City Councilor Phil Lakin had heard complaints, but it didn't make sense until now.
"When I go to the grocery store I’m home within five minutes, but here it'll take an hour,” said Lakin.
Lakin and fellow city counselors set up a scenario: their cupboard is bare and they live in north Tulsa, the only store close enough for them to shop is Gateway Market.
"It’s just not efficient; there's a lot of wait times," said Lakin.
They only had enough time to grab a few items. The round trip took them three hours.
"I made a resolution to increase bus service last year, its something we need to continue working on," said Councilor Jeannie Cue.
13, 000 people ride the bus everyday; that's up 11% from last year. Its clear, the city's budget wasn't prepared.
“We are among the worst from a transit perspective,” said Lakin.
"We actually put back on four routes that had been cut back in 2010."
About 50 buses run during peak hours.
Riders shouldn't expect many changes anytime soon, because the next budget isn't until June 2013.