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The Pelivan Story

Pelivan Transit is owned and operated by Grand Gateway EDA. As recently as 2015, celebrated 30 years in rural transportation services!

Pelivan Transit was established in 1985 when a grant was written and submitted to the Federal Transit Administration to begin a rural transportation program.

Pelivan Transit currently is funded annually with Federal Transit Administration grants and other federal agencies, Oklahoma State Revolving Fund Grants, and local grants from area cities as well as stakeholders that include area agencies and private businesses, and fares from riders.  We are currently operating a $3 million budget.

The Pelivan name is derived from the White Pelicans’ annual migration to Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees situated in northeastern Oklahoma and the Pelivan Transit service territory.  Thus the Slogan “Come Glide with Us”.  We recently updated our logo to include the American Bald Eagle gliding alongside the White Pelican over Grand Lake to represent the cooperation between Pelivan Transit and the area tribes for transit services.  These new partnerships have evolved a new logo and reference as, “Pelivan Transit, owned and operated by Grand Gateway EDA and the Northeast Oklahoma Tribal Transit Consortium.

Today…we are operating a six-city and surrounding areas demand response curb-to-curb rural transportation program and tribal transit program through area Dispatch Centers in Claremore, Grove, Miami, Owasso, Pryor, and Vinita.   These cities are situated in the northeastern Oklahoma counties of Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa, northern Tulsa, and Rogers counties.  The Pelivan Transit system also includes numerous employment routes interconnecting area cities, a trolley loop in Miami, education routes for TANF recipients, and various medical routes for area medical facilities in the region including Indian Health Services and area hospitals such as Craig General Hospital in Vinita and the Morton Connection in northern Tulsa County.

Pelivan Transit has developed and formed two consortiums with ten tribes in northeastern Oklahoma.  This integration of a rural public transportation program (Section 5311)  and two tribal transit programs (5311 c) was established with the Cherokee Nation from one grant and two other grants with the Nine Tribes of Northeast Oklahoma Consortium consisting of the Eastern Shawnee, Miami, Modoc, Ottawa, Peoria, Quapaw, Seneca-Cayuga, Shawnee, and Wyandotte tribes of Oklahoma.   This collaboration will provide tribal transit services to seven counties in northeastern Oklahoma.  Tribal Transit services will be provided by Pelivan Transit on behalf of the area tribes.  Shared logos and tribal seals will be displayed on some of the vehicles purchased by the tribes and leased to Pelivan for transportation services.  An Intelligent Software Program is currently being developed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the University of Oklahoma.  Pelivan Transit was chosen to utilize this program due to the complexity of maintaining data and demographics for ten tribes as well as the rural public transportation system.  This program is in the BETA stage and will become available to the other 23 rural public transits in Oklahoma in the future upon completion of the programming and development.  A new multimodal transit center will open by the end of 2010 in Miami, Oklahoma displaying a Native American décor where the Nine Tribes of Northeast Oklahoma are headquartered.  This transit center will showcase the Greyhound and Jefferson Bus Lines connection where riders can purchase bus tickets to any bus location in America and Pelivan Transit will transport the rider to the nearest bus station for continued travel through the bus lines.  Transportation pick-ups at area bus stations will also be provided to any travelers with their final destination in the Pelivan Transit service territory.  A percentage of the ticket sales will be applied to the local match requirements for transit grants.  This intercity connection between private bus lines and public transit is a solution to stranded travelers needing transportation services to rural communities beyond urban bus terminals.  Bus ticketing will become available in all Dispatch Centers as well.

Pelivan Transit has 72 employees strategically located in the various service areas to accommodate the growing ridership demands and a fleet of 68 vehicles.  The integrated transit systems will provide ten more full-time positions for drivers, dispatchers, and a data clerk.  The positions for this transportation system includes a Transit Director, Operations Manager, Administrative Compliance Officer, Marketing/PR Coordinator, Safety Trainer, Route Scheduler, Bookkeeper, Dispatchers, Data Entry Clerks, and last but certainly not least our wonderful Drivers!  The Executive Director and Financial Officer of Grand Gateway oversee the Pelivan Transit program.  The Chief Financial Officer of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Primary for the Nine Tribes of Northeast Oklahoma Consortium, and the transportation staff for the Cherokee Nation oversee their respective grants for the tribal transit program within this integrated system.

Safety is part of our mission statement, “Pelivan Transit is committed to providing safe and reliable transportation services to all people in its service territory”.  We follow multiple safety regulations as mandated by the Federal Transit Administration which requires all employees in a safety-sensitive position to participate in a DOT drug and alcohol testing program.  Grand Gateway has adopted for the Pelivan Transit Program a “no tolerance” policy.  Safety training topics and certifications include:  Defensive Driving, CPR/First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens, Accident Prevention and Reporting, and intensive rider sensitivity and ADA compliance training from the Passenger Assistance Safety & Security manual issued by the Community Transportation Association of America and the Safety Training for Rural Transits manual issued by the National Rural Transit Assistant Program.

The Cherokee Nation joined Pelivan Transit in providing new road-to-work and public routes from Pryor to Claremore to Catoosa and Salina to Tahlequah.

Pelivan Transit has provided 172,240 passenger rides & traveled 942,311 miles in the last 12 months (07/01/17 through 6/31/18).  Elderly and disabled persons needing transportation services are also a part of this “Open to the Public” transportation program.  All people of all ages ride the Pelivans daily realizing an economical and safe ride to their destinations.  Pelivan Transit was awarded the Public Transit System and Manager of the Year for 2009 in February 2010 by the Oklahoma Transit Association. 

Pelivan Transit has moved forward with Going Green by ordering Compressed Natural Gas converted vehicles for some replacements.  We are currently coordinating planning meetings in our region to address the CNG Fueling Infrastructure with area agencies and businesses who are committed to utilizing this alternative fuel.    It is imperative that CNG fueling stations are built and placed in service to accommodate the coalition of area transits, governments, tribes, and agencies’ fleets who are committed to future CNG conversions of their vehicles to utilize alternative fuel. 

Our shared philosophy of “working together” for the betterment of public transit will guide us in a continuum of forming new partnerships and consortiums for successful enhancements and expansions in transit.  We will focus on eliminating gaps and overlaps in current transportation services being provided with a mobility management goal to reach more riders with shared resources.  This cooperative spirit has benefited the riders in the Pelivan Transit service territory with reduced fares, expansion and enhancements of transportation services.  The visionary leadership of the area governments, tribes, agencies, and business executives of the private industries is shifting the paradigm of multiple stand-alone transportation programs into one of the shared resources and regional mobility management coordination which aligns with the national United We Ride message.

  Service Locations

Oklahoma Transit Association in Washington, D.C. 

  News & Events

Pelivan Transit partners with the

Nine Tribes to expand services to

a larger number of clients...



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