Hobby Lobby Donates Acre of Land for Oklahoma City Transit Hub Plans

Wed June 19, 2019 - West Edition #13
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Hobby Lobby is donating an acre of land for the proposed expansion of a commuter bus hub in southwest Oklahoma City.

The national arts and crafts retailer's estimated $300,000 donation will help metro transit agency Embark relocate and expand the city's southwest location from two shelters to an open-air hub, said Michael Scoggins, an agency spokesman.

The new hub will include bathrooms, more lighting, improved weather shelters and route information technology, Scoggins said.

"Hobby Lobby's generosity will help Embark further improve the customer experience while elevating the presence of public transit in the area," said Jason Ferbrache, Embark's director.

Ferbrache said the current bus location can become congested. It's the second busiest stop in the bus system, serving more than 300 passengers a day.

The plans call for relocating the buses from the existing stop, which is located near a Hobby Lobby store, to the donated land.

Ferbrache said the agency hopes to acquire an adjacent 1.19-acre parcel of land for the new site.

"Our store has been a neighbor to the current bus stop for years, and we've seen the need for a larger facility," said Peter Dobelbower, Hobby Lobby's senior vice president and general counsel. "By donating the land, we can help Embark move toward its goal of creating an even better transit system for our community."

Transit officials are also considering the new location for a potential rapid transit bus corridor to offer express buses for commuters. Plans for the area's first rapid transit bus line are under way in northwest Oklahoma City.