Oklahoma City’s transportation service EMBARK wins awards

EMBARK Director/Administrator Jason Ferbrache accepts award from CTAA

(EMBARK Director/Administrator and City of Oklahoma City Assistant City Manager Jason Ferbrache, right, accepts the Large System of the Year award from Community Transportation Association of America President Kristen Joyner, left, at the recent 2023 CTAA Expo in Oklahoma City.)

In May, EMBARK was honored with several awards from the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and the Oklahoma Transit Association (OkTA) during the 2023 CTAA Expo, which was held May 21-25 in Oklahoma City.

The five-day expo was attended by 1,100 transit professionals and featured training and information-sharing sessions, networking events, updates from federal transit officials, a trade show, tours of the local transit system, and bus driving competitions.

EMBARK was named Large System of the Year by CTAA at its annual awards banquet honoring transit agency achievements nationwide. This award is given to a public transit system that serves an urban area of more than 50,000 in population and demonstrates a host of characteristics, including innovation, creativity, responsiveness, collaboration, and accessibility.

Two EMBARK transit professionals, Kirk Rayner and Laura Figueroa, were each honored with CTAA’s Frontline Hero Award for their intervention in a human trafficking incident in downtown Oklahoma City in 2021. The Frontline Heroes Award recognizes unsung transit employees who go the extra mile and encapsulate the spirit and professionalism of the workplace and the community transportation industry.

EMBARK’s employee-driven transformation plan, The Road Map, was recognized as OkTA’s Marketing Campaign of the Year. The campaign, which began in 2020, includes employee, customer, and community-focused initiatives aimed at making EMBARK a world-class transportation organization.

EMBARK bus operator Jennifer Smith accepts award for winning the Oklahoma State Roadeo

(EMBARK bus operator Jennifer Smith, left, accepts the first place award in the Oklahoma State Roadeo, an annual bus driving competition, from Oklahoma Transit Association Executive Director Andrea Ball, right.)

EMBARK’s Jennifer Smith won first place in the Oklahoma State Roadeo, an annual competition hosted by OkTA that tests bus operators’ skills on a closed course. Smith will travel to Florida in 2024 to compete in the National Community Transportation Roadeo hosted by CTAA.