Transit Planning and Assets

Public transportation services are very important in a metropolitan city of the size and character of Norman. Since taking over the service from the University of Oklahoma in 2019, the newly created Transit and Parking Division of the Public Works Department has overseen, contributed to, or directly accomplished:

  • A smooth transition of city bus services without missing a day of service for both fixed-route bus and paratransit service.
  • Educating the public for a ballot initiative to enact a Public Transit Sales Tax, which passed with 70.4% approval. This is the first and only voter approved tax specifically for public transit operations in the State of Oklahoma.
  • Hiring and working with a consulting firm to develop the Go Norman Transit Plan which assessed both the existing transit bus services as well as the needs and desires of the residents of Norman to recommend service modifications and future improvements. This plan was approved by Council unanimously.
  • Completing applications for, and being awarded various federal and state grants for general operations, vehicle replacements, and facility construction. 
  • Securing funding for, constructing, and opening a City facility to house the transit maintenance and operations activities.
  • Overseeing the purchase and construction of replacement vehicles for the fixed-route and paratransit vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life according to FTA standards. As of the end of the 2023 calendar year: 12 vehicles have been replaced and are actively in service, another five vehicles are undergoing final inspections and are expected to be completed soon, and grant funding has been approved for an additional six vehicles for which staff are working on the specifications. 
  • Securing funding for, purchasing, remodeling, and opening the first dedicated Norman Transit Center to operate as a bus terminal.
  • Overhauling the loop based route network and implementing a bidirectional route network to increase both efficiency and frequency throughout the areas served. This was an ongoing effort that started with the Go Norman Transit Plan and included: planning with a consulting firm; receiving feedback from the community about the changes they would like to see; developing routes that maintain the same general areas of service within a similar budget; accounting for traffic, timing, and safety in the development of the new routes; completing a Public Comment Period to again receive feedback from the community about the planned changes; determining the safe and ADA compliant locations for new bus stops as well as which stops would need to be retired or maintained; implementing the new bus stops; implementing the new Norman Transit Center; and finally implementing the new fixed route bus service.  

These accomplishments would not be possible without the support from the community, the City Council, and the various organizations that are associated with Norman's Transit and Parking Division. 

Associated Organizations

Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG)

The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the greater Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. While ACOG is involved in other areas of government as well, part of their responsibilities include coordinating with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), area local governments, and transit providers, such as the City of Norman, to implement the applicable Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). 

For more information about the ACOG, please visit:

Association of Central Oklahoma Governments

Regional Transportation Authority of Central Oklahoma (RTA)

The Regional Transportation Authority of Central Oklahoma is a trust of central Oklahoma cities, including Norman, that is responsible for developing, implementing, and funding regional mobility options.

For more information about the RTA, please visit: 

Regional Transportation Authority of Central Oklahoma

Oklahoma Transit Association (OkTA)

As an industry based collective of various transit agencies in our state, the Oklahoma Transit Association provides opportunities for networking and continuing education for City of Norman Transit staff. 

For more information about the Oklahoma Transit Association, please visit:

Oklahoma Transit Association

History of Transit in Norman

Many Norman residents depend on the public bus transportation system to get to work, run errands or even go to a doctor’s appointment. However the public bus transportation system has not always been operated by the City of Norman. From its inception in 1980 public bus transportation throughout the city was operated by the University of Oklahoma.

Service Transfers to the City of Norman

On August 28, 2018, University officials advised City staff of their desire to transfer non-campus bus services in Norman to another operator by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. In July 2019, the University of Oklahoma transferred portions of the service to the City of Norman. Bus services through and around campus were retained by the University of Oklahoma’s campus shuttle system, formerly known as Cleveland Area Rapid Transit (CART), and the acronym was updated later to Campus Area Rapid Transit (CART).

  • University of Oklahoma Campus Service (Contact Info)
    Campus Area Rapid Transit (CART)
    The University of Oklahoma offers campus shuttle services in and around the Norman main campus. For more information regarding campus service, please visit:

Campus Area Rapid Transit (CART) 

Contracting with the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) d/b/a EMBARK, the City was able to successfully transition the operations of the service without missing a day of service. EMBARK Norman, as a division of EMBARK,  provides operations staff such as bus operators and dispatchers for both the fixed-route and paratransit services, with City staff overseeing the administration of the contract.

Transit Funding

Funding for public transportation in Norman is a mix of federal and state grant funding, as well as a local Public Transportation Sales Tax. Grant funding is often sourced through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), and our regional metropolitan planning organization (MPO) the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG). Many of the physical assets purchased for Norman Transit services, such as buildings and vehicles, are paid for by a majority of grant funding. A frequent requirement of such grant funding is that the total cost of the grant proposal be matched with local funds. A typical local fund match is 20-30% of the total cost of the grant proposal.  

  • Public Transit Sales Tax

    On Tuesday November 12, 2019 Norman voters passed the Public Transit Sales Tax with 70.4% approval. To date, this is the only funding mechanism solely dedicated to transit operations passed in the state of Oklahoma. The City may only spend money raised from the 1/8 percent sales tax on public transportation systems or public transportation system related costs – such as general transit operations, bus repair and refueling facilities, replacement busses, and improved handicapped accessibility at bus stops.

Planning & Assets

The City of Norman completed its first Comprehensive Transportation Plan in 2014, which considered vehicular, pedestrian, and public transportation needs to plan, design, and maintain transportation improvements. These needs changed substantially when the City assumed responsibility for city bus transit services and the development of a transit specific long range plan was developed in response.

  • Go Norman Transit Plan

    On June 22, 2021 the City of Norman City Council adopted the Go Norman Transit Plan. The Go Norman Transit Plan is a roadmap for optimizing and expanding transit service within the City of Norman, providing detailed and prioritized recommendations for service improvements and expansion. The plan is the outcome of a nearly year-long study that included a comprehensive review of the City of Norman’s existing transit service and numerous community engagement activities. To view the plan, please visit:

Go Norman Transit Plan

Staff have worked consistently to implement the goals of the Go Norman Transit Plan. Some results of that work can be seen in the amount of grant funding awarded to the program; the various vehicles that have been or will soon be replaced; the Transit and Public Safety Maintenance Facility which opened in February of 2022; and the newly opened Norman Transit Center and improved route network that both began operation on October 16, 2023. 

Vehicle Assets

One of the actions recommended by the Go Norman Transit Plan is to replace the various vehicles in the public transit fleet which have surpassed or are approaching the end of their useful life. Of the 26 vehicles that were transferred to the City during the transition of service, 15 of them were already eligible to be retired by FTA standards and as of April 2023 an additional nine vehicles have met FTA eligibility to be retired. 

Staff have worked diligently to maximize local dollars by seeking and being awarded various federal, state, and regional grant programs for vehicle replacement. Among other grants the City of Norman has been awarded for transit, nearly four million dollars in federal grant funding has been awarded specifically for vehicle replacement in just the first three years that the City has operated the bus transit system. These grants are supplemented by local funding to purchase additional transit buses for the fixed route service and accessible vans for the paratransit service. The first of these replacements, two fully electric transit buses, were added to the transit fleet in February of 2023. These are the first fully electric vehicles owned by the City.

Over the course of the summer and fall of 2023, staff received delivery of 5 additional 35ft CNG transit buses, 2 support vehicles, and 3 ADA compliant minivans. The support vehicles are used by route supervisors and when drivers are swapped out. These new vehicles can already be seen in operation along City streets. Staff are still anticipating delivery of an additional 5 ADA compliant vans in the upcoming months and have had grant funding awarded this year for an additional six cutaway style buses for the paratransit service.  

Building Assets

In February of 2022,  the City of Norman opened a new Transit and Public Safety Maintenance Facility where fleet staff are able to repair and maintain the City’s fleet of transit buses and fire trucks. This facility also provides space for the day to day operations of transit, which allowed the City to end an ongoing lease with the University of Oklahoma for office and maintenance space on the university campus. The facility was funded through an FTA grant, the Public Transit Sales Tax, and the Public Safety Sales Tax. The construction was completed alongside the Norman Forward funded Parks Maintenance Facility.

On October 16,2023 the Norman Transit Center (located at 320 E Comanche St. - the southwest corner of Porter Ave. & Comanche St.) was opened to the public with the launch of new fixed-route bus service. This project was completely locally funded and developed from property purchase to serving Norman citizens in only 19 months. This facility is the City's first dedicated transit hub and provides citizens with a safe indoor waiting area, a pubic restroom, water fountains with a bottle filling station, and vending machines, all of which were not previously available. This facility also provide staff with restroom, breakroom, and office facilities.

Current Planning Actions

Staff are continuing to make progress on the goals of the Go Norman Transit Plan by monitoring and managing the final stages of the transition to the redesigned route network and reviewing the recommendations for service expansion to ensure that funding is available to expand service hours, increase frequency on the existing new routes, and expand the service to new areas of Norman by implementing additional new routes.

For more information about the current bus transit services offered, please visit:

Transit Bus Operations