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Table of Contents
01

Overview

02

Route 16 May 2022 Minor Schedule Change - Unrelated to The R.I.D.E. 2020 Project

Route 16 Minor Schedule Change Happening Monday, May 23, 2022

This change is unrelated to the overall R.I.D.E. 2020 transit network plan.

03

June 2022 Launch of Expanded and New Microtransit Zones

Microtransit Zone Launch Slated for Monday, June 20, 2022

04

October 2022 METRO Connect Conway Launch

Conway’s first public transit service launched Monday, Oct. 24, 2022! This service offers shared-ride, on-demand, point-to-point trips within the city with an easy-to-use ride-booking experience, real-time vehicle information, reasonable wait and travel times, and affordable fares.

Table of Contents I. 2022 Annual Service Enhancements
  • 01. Overview
  • 02. Route 16 May 2022 Minor Schedule Change - Unrelated to The R.I.D.E. 2020 Project
  • 03. June 2022 Launch of Expanded and New Microtransit Zones
  • 04. October 2022 METRO Connect Conway Launch

The following annual service enhancements occurred in 2022 as part of Rock Region METRO’s 2020-2023 annual service enhancements (the June 2022 METRO Connect microtransit service expansion) or as stand-along events (the May 2022 Route 16 UA – Little Rock weekday schedule change and the October 2022 launch of METRO Connect Conway service).

As METRO plans and prepares for future service enhancements beyond the initial onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, the agency is engaging in in-depth fixed route schedule planning to benefit both riders and transit operators. As a result, Monday, May 23, 2022, Route 16 UA – Little Rock will have a new schedule with minor updates for weekdays only; there will be no change to the Route 16 Saturday and Sunday schedule. The overall span of service for Route 16 will not change, but riders will notice that there will be more dwelling time at the River Cities Travel Center terminus rather than at UA – Little Rock. This shift will allocate more time spent at the route terminus point that has enhanced passenger amenities, including connections to other routes, the METRO pass sales office and public restrooms, as well as employee restrooms. There is still an active COVID-19-era service alert for routes on Saturdays at the new schedule launch time that also applies to Route 16. METRO encourages riders to continue checking for service alerts before every trip as a best practice of daily transit usage.

Route 16 Weekday Scheduled Effective Monday, May 23, 2022

METRO will expand three Little Rock-based microtransit zones and will launch three new North Little Rock-based microtransit zones Monday, June 20, 2022 as part of a phased implementation of a new transit network plan delayed by the global coronavirus pandemic. After navigating the same hiring and supply chain challenges many other employers have experienced, METRO is excited to expand the John Barrow Road and Riverdale Zones in Little Rock, as well as establish the Temporary Airport/Port/Shorter College Zone as two separate permanent zones (one in Little Rock, the East Little Rock Zone, and one in North Little Rock, the Shorter College-Dixie Zone). The agency will also launch three new microtransit zones in North Little Rock: the Levy-Amboy Zone, the previously mentioned Shorter College-Dixie Zone and the McAlmont Zone.

Long-time METRO riders will know that some routes serving some of these areas were suspended during the earliest days of the pandemic due to historic low ridership and the agency’s need to modify service during the pandemic’s onset. Some of these routes – Routes 12 Clinton Center/Airport, 20 Hanger Hill/College Station and Route 7 Shorter College – were permanently removed. Others, such as Route 4 Levy.Amboy and 18 McAlmont, will undergo changes later this year as part of METRO’s fixed route service changes. Changes to the fixed route network will not occur on June 20 because METRO has not yet reached the number of fixed route operators needed to launch the new fixed route network. That launch date is to be determined by hiring realities.

To see the pending microtransit zone maps, click on the individual map links below, and remember: These zones will not be in effect until Monday, June 20, 2022.

PLEASE NOTE: We encourage Shorter College, Dixie Addition, Levy/Amboy, McAlmont, John Barrow Road, Hanger Hill and College Station-area riders to go ahead and download the Transloc Microtransit App to their smartphones so they can create an account and begin to book rides. For the sake of other riders and the METRO team, please DO NOT attempt to book a ride on the METRO Connect service while you are in the smartphone app learning phase prior to June 20 unless you really are trying to book a ride in an existing zone. Remember: This app will NOT hail a ride for any pending zone coverage areas before Monday, June 20 when the service launches. If riders see these pending maps/zones available in the Transloc Microtransit app before Monday, June 20, 2022, it’s likely the METRO team is testing the system, and no booked rides for points not served by the current John Barrow Road, Riverdale and Temporary Airport/Port/Shorter College Zones will be booked, even if the system says the ride is booked.

For more information on how these pending microtransit zones complement the overall fixed route changes not yet slated for implementation, please visit the remaining sections of this Annual Service Enhancements webpage, found in the left-hand Table of Contents area.

For more information on how to use the METRO Connect microtransit service, click on the following general METRO Connect information landing page and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to read all of the related information. You can use the Select a Zone function with the gray arrow leading to a drop-down menu to select a current microtransit zone and see related maps, hours of operation, etc.

About the Expanded John Barrow Road Zone

The expanded METRO Connect John Barrow Road Zone includes the Little Rock area west of University Avenue, mainly east of I-430 and south of Kanis Road, with point-to-point service to several residences, health clinics, a public library and the VA Office on Financial Center Parkway. Operating hours as of Monday, June 20, 2022 will be Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Davita Dialysis and Midtown Dialysis will remain points of interest for this zone. Christopher Homes, JA Fair K-8 Academy, Landers Toyota and Shopper Value Foods are within the expanded zone and will therefore no longer be points of interest.

Map of Expanded John Barrow Road Zone Launching Monday, June 20, 2022

About the Expanded Riverdale Zone

The expanded METRO Connect Riverdale Zone includes Little Rock’s Riverdale area north of Cantrell Road and 3rd Street between 3rd & Bishop Streets and 3rd & Rock Streets, with streets south of the travel center up to 8th Street, between Broadway and Rock Street. Operating hours as of Monday, June 20, 2022 will be Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The Heights Kroger will remain a point of interest for this zone. The Hillcrest Kroger will become a point of interest for this zone. The River Cities Travel Center will be within the zone and will therefore be removed as a point of interest. Riders will still be able to book trips from any point within the Riverdale Zone to the travel center.

Map of Expanded Riverdale Zone Launching Monday, June 20, 2022

About the Redefined and Expanded East Little Rock Zone

The expanded East Little Rock Zone, which has been operating as the Temporary Airport/Port/Shorter College Zone, will shed the Shorter College service area (that area will spin off into a separate microtransit zone) and will expand further south to include Zeuber Road in the Little Rock Port Authority, which is where the Amazon campus is. The Amazon campus is a current point of interest in the current Temporary Airport/Port/Shorter College Zone. The East Little Rock Zone includes most of the area served by the former Routes 12 Clinton Center/Airport and 20 Hanger Hill/College Station, with point-to-point service to several downtown and airport area hotels, the UPS Customer Service Center and businesses within the Little Rock Port Authority. Operating hours as of Monday, June 20, 2022 will be Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Amazon center on Zeuber Road will be within the expanded zone and will therefore be removed as a point of interest. Riders will still be able to book trips from within the East Little Rock Zone to the Amazon center on Zeuber Road. The Kroger on Roosevelt will be added as a point of interest to the East Little Rock Zone.

Map of Redefined and Expanded East Little Rock Zone Launching Monday, June 20, 2022

About the Pending NEW Levy-Amboy Zone

The pending new METRO Connect Levy-Amboy Zone includes most of the North Little Rock area served by the former Route 4 Levy-Amboy regular, non-express fixed route, with point-to-point service to several area residences and schools, St. Joseph Center of Arkansas, the Camp Robinson Main Gate, Burns Park Hospitality House and public centers. Operating hours as of Monday, June 20, 2022 will be Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The North Little Rock Justice Center, the intersection of Pershing & Willow in North Little Rock and the southwest corner of the intersection of JFK & Main Street will be added as points of interest to the zone.

Map of New Levy-Amboy Zone Launching Monday, June 20, 2022

About the Pending NEW Shorter College-Dixie Zone

The pending new METRO Connect Shorter College-Dixie Zone includes most of the North Little Rock area served by the former Route 7 Shorter College and pre-2020 route pattern of Route 18 McAlmont, with point-to-point service to several area residences, Seventh Street Elementary School and Sherman Park Recreation Center. Operating hours as of Monday, June 20, 2022 will be Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The intersection of Pershing & Willow in North Little Rock and the North Little Rock City Services building on Main Street will be added as points of interest to the zone. The River Cities Travel Center will be removed as a point of interest to this zone. Riders wishing to connect to points within Little Rock can make transfers at the Pershing & Willow and the North Little Rock City Services building to Route 10 McCain Mall and at Washington Avenue to Route 18 McAlmont.

Map of New Shorter College-Dixie Zone Launching Monday, June 20, 2022

About the Pending NEW McAlmont Zone

The pending new METRO Connect McAlmont Zone includes some of the North Little Rock area served by the pre-2020 route pattern of Route 18 McAlmont, with point-to-point service to several area residences, the First Step Technical College, Harris Elementary School and Meadow Park Elementary School. Operating hours as of Monday, June 20, 2022 will be Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The McCain Walmart will be added as a point of interest to this zone.

Map of New McAlmont Zone Launching Monday, June 20, 2022

METRO hosted two September public information meetings at Conway City Hall to allow community members to discuss the launch of microtransit service in Conway, happening Monday, Oct. 24.

Learn more about METRO Connect Conway by reading the press release here: All METRO Connect Conway information will be found on this Annual Service Enhancements webpage leading up to the launch date, Monday, Oct. 24. On the launch date, service information will be found under the Services/METRO Connect Zones and Hours tab of the website. The zone will appear within the Transloc App the evening before the launch, and it will appear within the Token Transit smartphone fare payment app the evening before the launch. From Monday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 20, METRO Connect Conway rides will be fare-free. On Monday, Nov. 21, METRO Connect Conway rides will be $2 per person per trip.

Click here to see a Google Map of the METRO Connect Conway Zone.

Meeting dates, times and locations were:

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Conway City Hall, 1111 Main St., Conway

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, 5:30-7 p.m.
Conway City Hall, 1111 Main St., Conway

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