History - COTPA and MassTrans
The City Council of Oklahoma City established Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) on February 1, 1966 in order to continue the needed public service. COTPA, founded as a public trust, started with only 18 buses, which were leased from the Oklahoma Transportation Company. Despite the takeover, ridership and revenues continued to head downward.
Recognizing public transportation was an important part of the rebuilding of cities, the federal government began two programs. The Capital Funding program, which allowed for 80% of capital purchases to be paid by federal grants; and the Operating Assistance Program, which allowed 50% of operating costs to be paid for by federal grants. These two programs allowed the transit system to keep riding fares low and expand service at the same time.
In 1975, COTPA approved the renaming of the bus system to MassTrans.
Throughout the remainder of the 70s, the company began recording ridership numbers and implementing new programs such as Share-a-Fare and Carpool Matching.
During the 80s, the company added Supplemental Transportations for the Elderly and Handicapped Persons (STEP), and Handi-Trans, a door-to-door service for the mobility impaired.
In 1989, COTPA was reorganized and the City established the Transit Services department providing senior management for COTPA through an inter-local operating agreement that continues today. That same year COTPA purchased Union Station. The purchase was made possible by a grant through the Urban Mass Transportation Administration and a donation by Liberty Bank and Trust Company of Oklahoma City. The building houses the administrative offices of COTPA.