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Table of Contents
01

2023 Microtransit Software Vendor Transition

Rock Region METRO transitioned to a new microtransit software vendor Tuesday, Oct. 10.

02

September 2023 Microtransit Transition Public Information Meeting Dates and Times

METRO hosted four public information meetings in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Conway in September 2023.

03

Fall 2023 Microtransit Zone Information

Microtransit Transition Slated for Oct. 10

04

Public Comments

Table of Contents I. 2023 Annual Service Enhancements
  • 01. 2023 Microtransit Software Vendor Transition
  • 02. September 2023 Microtransit Transition Public Information Meeting Dates and Times
  • 03. Fall 2023 Microtransit Zone Information
  • 04. Public Comments

This transition included migrating from the Transloc ride-booking app to a new app powered by the new vendor, related changes to zone geography and related operational changes. As of the Oct. 10, 2023 launch date, METRO fares remained the same as they were, and there were no concurrent changes to METRO fares or the fare structure. Due to the ongoing nationwide shortage of small vehicles used for microtransit service, however, METRO does expect to continue to have capacity challenges for some zones during certain periods of time.

The events allowed community members to discuss a transition to a new microtransit software vendor for METRO Connect microtransit service.

More information can be found at rrmetro.org/annual-service-enhancements.

Meeting dates, times and locations were:

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 5:30-7 p.m., Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 3805 W. 12th St., Little Rock

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., William F. Laman Public Library Lecture Room, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 5:30-7 p.m., Conway City Hall, 1111 Main St., Conway

Thursday, Sept. 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Conway City Hall, 1111 Main St., Conway

For more information or to request this information in an alternate format or translated into another language, please call (501) 375-6717.

METRO transitioned to a new microtransit software vendor Tuesday, Oct. 10.

This transition included migrating from the Transloc ride-booking app to a new app powered by the new vendor, related changes to zone geography and related operational changes. As of the Oct. 10, 2023 launch date, METRO fares remained the same as they were, and there were no concurrent changes to METRO fares or the fare structure. Due to the ongoing nationwide shortage of small vehicles used for microtransit service, however, METRO does expect to continue to have capacity challenges for some zones during certain periods of time.

Changes to the fixed bus route network did not occur on this same launch date because METRO has not yet reached the number of fixed route operators needed to launch the new fixed route network (there is a nationwide shortage of fixed route bus operators with commercial driver’s licenses and related passenger endorsements). That launch date is slated for 2024, to be determined by workforce realities.

New App, Powered by a New Vendor

The new microtransit app for METRO Connect service is called METRO Connect – Rock Region, and it’s powered by Via, the new microtransit software provider.

Geographic Changes to Microtransit Zones Related to the Microtransit Software Vendor Change

To see the pending microtransit zone maps, click on the individual map links below.

For more information on how these 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 current METRO Connect microtransit service, click on the 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.

New Microtransit Software Vendor Does Not Offer a “Points of Interest” Feature for Zone Geography; Read Each Zone Recap Below to Understand How This Affects Current Zones

Google Map of Oct. 10, 2023 Little Rock and North Little Rock Network, Including Microtransit Zones

About the Oct. 10, 2023 John Barrow Road Zone

The Oct. 10, 2023 METRO Connect John Barrow Road Zone has small offshoots, which allow the zone continue to serve Davita Dialysis and Midtown Dialysis.

Map of John Barrow Road Zone Launching Oct. 10, 2023

About the Oct. 10, 2023 East Little Rock-Riverdale Zone

East Little Rock and Riverdale, which are currently different zones but have been sharing vehicles since the pandemic onset, will merge into the East Little Rock-Riverdale Zone. There is an offshoot of the zone to the west to continue to allow Riverdale residents access to a grocery store, and there is a westward offshoot in the Roosevelt area of East Little Rock to allow College Station and Hanger Hill residents access to a grocery store as well.
By merging with East Little Rock, the Riverdale Zone area will have the same hours as the East Little Rock Zone.

Map of East Little Rock-Riverdale Zone Launching Oct. 10, 2023

About the Oct. 10, 2023 Levy-Amboy Zone

The Levy-Amboy Zone has a westward offshoot to continue allowing access to the Burns Park Hospitality House, as well as eastern offshoots to accommodate trips to the Walgreens at JFK & McCain and the North Little Rock Justice Center.

Map of Levy-Amboy Zone Launching Oct. 10, 2023

About the Oct. 10, 2023 East North Little Rock Zone (Includes Areas Currently in the Shorter College-Dixie Zone and McAlmont Zone)

The Shorter College-Dixie Addition Zone and McAlmont Zone, which are currently different zones but have been sharing vehicles since the pandemic onset, will merge into the East North Little Rock Zone, and with the addition of another vehicle in service and the related labor and fixed costs funded by North Little Rock, will add Rose City to the zone.
The East North Little Rock Zone has a westward offshoot using 13th, Main, 22nd and Willow streets to reach Willow & Pershing, where riders can connect to Route 10 Inbound for travel to the downtown River Cities Travel Center, where they may make connections to other routes, and to Route 10 Outbound to travel to the McCain Walmart.

Map of East North Little Rock Zone Launching Oct. 10, 2023

About the Oct. 10, 2023 Hensley – Limited Zone

The Hensley Zone will continue to operate Thursdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. along Highway 365 to Sweet Home, Higgins, Wrightsville and Hensley to allow for weekly connections to destinations such as health appointments and the grocery store.

Map of Temporary Hensley – Limited Zone Launching Oct. 10, 2023

About the Conway Zone

The METRO Connect Conway Zone has no changes during this software transition.

Operational Changes to Microtransit Zones Related to the Microtransit Software Vendor Change

With the change in software, METRO Connect will no longer allow advance trip bookings, which are generally considered by the microtransit industry to increase the likelihood of last-minute cancellations and no-shows, which in turn increase overall wait and travel times for all riders. Allowing advance bookings also greatly increases the wait time for riders who are calling the METRO ride-booking phone number to book rides, with some riders taking several minutes to have multiple trips booked in advance.

Instead, the software will book on-demand ride requests only.

Another operational change is a rule that was in place during the initial 2019 Transloc software system rollout but that was changed in a mandatory Transloc system-wide shift at some point: The METRO Connect–Rock Region App will not allow riders to book another ride when they have not completed their first ride. This is intended to prohibit riders from monopolizing microtransit vehicles for “quick errands.” Instead, riders will be expected to wait until their errands are complete to book their return rides, and they will be expected to board within five minutes of the vehicle’s arrival or be counted as No Shows.

METRO accepted public comments regarding the 2023 microtransit software vendor transition at public information meetings that occurred Sept. 5, 6 and 7, 2023. Feel free to view the Stay Connected area of this webpage to share feedback with our team at any time.

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