City of Lawton to vote on pilot program with LPS and LATS

City of Lawton to vote on pilot program with LPS and LATS
The Lawton City Transit Trust is voting tonight on a proposal that would give LPS students a chance to catch a free ride on city buses, anytime, even to take them to and from school.
Kids won't be able to stand at their normal school bus stop. They will have to make their way to a bus stop on the LATS route.

The rides would be open to any student in grades 6-12.  All they need is their student ID's and they can ride anywhere the LATS buses go, including weekends and when school is out.

Currently, students have to pay $1 per ride or $30 for a semester pass if they rely on LATS to get them to school.

To offset that cost LPS will pay $35,000 to LATS based on the number of students they have, which is around 7,000, and based on 1,000 students they think will take advantage of the opportunity.

Ryan Landers, the General Manager of LATS, said they've been working hard since this summer with LPS on the plan.

"Every city has public transportation, and the average amount of money you can save just by riding public transportation is astronomical. It's there. Why not take advantage of it?"

Kyle Smith, the Executive Director of Operations for LPS, said one of the primary benefits they think they'll get, is helping kids with after school activities.

"Students can now stay at school as late as they need to and still have a ride home. We know that a lot of secondary kids, if they stay after school, they have to find an alternative rides to get home or walk, so this would be a good way for the students to get home."

Smith says this would be a trial run and at the end of next semester, they will re-evaluate, if needed.

"We will pilot this program, see the participation, how many kids participate, and if adjustments need to be made for next school year, we will look at making adjustments to that."


Each of the bus stops has a sign with the LATS schedules posted on them.  Students can always call LATS dispatch if they have any issues.
If the City Transit Trust approves the proposal Tuesday night, LATS representatives will go around to all the schools and talk with students about riding public buses and go over the safety precautions.
It would go into effect starting January 3rd, the first day of the second semester.

Tune into 7News at 10 for the final results of the Councils vote.