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Table of Contents
01

September 2022 METRO Connect Conway Public Information Meetings

METRO is hosting two September public information meetings at Conway City Hall to allow community members to discuss the launch of microtransit service in Conway.

02

Overview

03

2020 ASE July Public Information Meetings Dates and Times

04

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.

 

05

Google Map of Existing and Proposed Route and Microtransit Zone Network

Use the link below to view the existing and proposed network over a Google Map. Please remember: The proposed microtransit network zones for the four express zone areas, which are Hensley/Wrightsville, Maumelle, Sherwood and Jacksonville, are still being discussed at this time and are not yet finalized (except for Jacksonville, which signed an agreement to re-join the METRO system with a microtransit zone in November 2021). Changes are dependent on the related jurisdictions re-joining the METRO funding partner agreement under the new funding formula and, if approved by the respective governing bodies, are slated to be implemented in 2022-2023, with timing subject to METRO’s ongoing COVID-19 service response.

This suggested network plan is unrelated to the March 2020 suspension of Routes 17, 25, 26 and 36 and May 2020 suspension of Routes 7, part of 8, 12, 19 and 20. Those routes were suspended as part of METRO’s COVID-19 response. Regardless, this transit network plan, with modifications to plans for Routes 4, 5 and 13 (seen on this updated map link), is approved, and is slated to be implemented 2022 and 2023, with phased-in launches that take into consideration METRO’s COVID-19 response (for example, continued passenger limits on vehicles to encourage social distancing while community COVID-19 caseloads are high, etc.). Adjustments to the phase timing will be made as needed.

Phase 1 of this launch is slated for Monday, June 20, 2022 and includes the launch of the expanded John Barrow Road Zone, expanded Riverdale Zone, redefined and expanded East Little Rock Zone and the new Shorter College-Dixie Zone, Levy-Amboy Zone and McAlmont Zone.

Phase 2 of this launch will involve the launch of new fixed bus route patterns displayed on this map. At the time of this website update, there is no launch date for this new network, as METRO is working to recruit, hire and train more fixed route bus operators during a national labor shortage for fixed route bus operators with commercial driver’s licenses. So, the “Approved Network” bus routes you see on this map are NOT in place on Monday, June 20, 2022; only the six microtransit zones mentioned above will be launched on this date.

06

Quick Plan Highlights

Riders spoke, and METRO listened:

07

June 2022 Launch of Expanded and New Microtransit Zones

Microtransit Zone Launch Slated for Monday, June 20, 2022

08

Section 1: Little Rock Markham/Chenal Corridor and Southwest Little Rock

This section covers the midtown Markham Street corridor in Little Rock and Southwest Little Rock. These new bus route changes mentioned below will not coincide with the Monday, June 20, 2022 microtransit zones expansion, as the changes are dependent on the fulfillment of hiring goals for fixed route bus operators, as well as supply chain delays in transit vehicles related to the global coronavirus pandemic.

09

Section 2: South Little Rock Service

This section covers the Little Rock neighborhoods south of I-630. These new bus route changes mentioned below will not coincide with the Monday, June 20, 2022 microtransit zones expansion, as the changes are dependent on the fulfillment of hiring goals for fixed route bus operators, as well as supply chain delays in transit vehicles related to the global coronavirus pandemic.

9

Section 3: Sherwood, Jacksonville, Maumelle/Oak Grove, Hensley and Pinnacle Mountain Service

This section covers METRO’s four express routes. Some of the tradeoffs here could involve establishing some additional types of service that are not currently defined.

10

Section 4: North Little Rock Service

This section addresses routes in North Little Rock. These new bus route changes mentioned below will not coincide with the Monday, June 20, 2022 microtransit zones expansion, as the changes are dependent on the fulfillment of hiring goals for fixed route bus operators, as well as supply chain delays in transit vehicles related to the global coronavirus pandemic.

11

Section 5: Little Rock Baptist Medical Center Route, Riverdale Neighborhood and East Little Rock

This section addresses jobs access for Midtown, the METRO Connect Riverdale microtransit zone pilot project and jobs access in the airport/port area.

12

Section 6: METRO Links Paratransit Service Area

This section covers related modifications to the METRO Links paratransit service area.

13

Public Comment Period

14

Stay Connected

Table of Contents I. Coming Soon: METRO Connect Conway Microtransit Service
  • 01. September 2022 METRO Connect Conway Public Information Meetings
II. 2022 Annual Service Enhancements
  • 02. Overview
  • 03. 2020 ASE July Public Information Meetings Dates and Times
  • 04. Route 16 May 2022 Minor Schedule Change - Unrelated to The R.I.D.E. 2020 Project
III. Per Route Map and Change Narratives
  • 05. Google Map of Existing and Proposed Route and Microtransit Zone Network
  • 06. Quick Plan Highlights
  • 07. June 2022 Launch of Expanded and New Microtransit Zones
  • 08. Section 1: Little Rock Markham/Chenal Corridor and Southwest Little Rock
  • 09. Section 2: South Little Rock Service
  • 10. Section 3: Sherwood, Jacksonville, Maumelle/Oak Grove, Hensley and Pinnacle Mountain Service
  • 11. Section 4: North Little Rock Service
  • 12. Section 5: Little Rock Baptist Medical Center Route, Riverdale Neighborhood and East Little Rock
  • 13. Section 6: METRO Links Paratransit Service Area
IV. Public Comments
  • 14. Public Comment Period
V. Ways to Stay in Touch With Us
  • 15. Stay Connected

Conway’s first public transit service is coming soon! 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.

Join us for one of two public information meetings happening Sept. 13 and 14, 2022:

Meeting dates, times and locations:

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

Look for more information about the pending METRO Connect Conway microtransit service on this page after the public information meetings have happened.

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

As part of an annual review process and in relation to the R.I.D.E. 2020 transit network design study, Rock Region METRO launched its annual service enhancements process in 2020. The agency hosted three public meetings, July 7, 8 and 9, 2020 to discuss plan recommendations for 24 bus routes which are slated to begin to take effect in 2022-2023, with timing subject to METRO’s ongoing COVID-19 service response and work to recruit, hire and train qualified bus operators and microtransit drivers. Details were shared at the three public meetings and then posted at this webpage following the July 8 meeting for a 30-day comment period.

The Process

The METRO staff began its annual service review in late 2019 with the kickoff to its R.I.D.E. 2020 transit network design project. As part of this project, a round of suggested transit network changes was recommended by the agency’s R.I.D.E. 2020 consulting team, Transportation Management & Design, Inc, a San Diego-based firm specializing in transit planning services. These recommendations were only a part of the overall R.I.D.E. 2020 project, which had several project outcomes, including two transit network design models: a cost-neutral model and a model based on a moderate funding increase. The cost-neutral recommendations were adopted by METRO in August 2020 as the beginning-in-2022-and-2023 annual service enhancement recommendations (again, the timing is subject to METRO’s ongoing COVID-19 service response and success in meeting hiring goals for bus operators and microtransit drivers).

In anticipation of these recommendations, the R.I.D.E. 2020 project launched with an analysis of existing system conditions, a non-rider and voter survey within Pulaski County, a series of 15 meetings with various stakeholders and the general public in January 2020, and establishment and discussion of network design guidelines. With this information, a transit network plan for cost-neutral recommendations was drafted and discussed with the METRO Board of Directors and various stakeholders in June 2020, and these are the recommendations were presented to the public in July 2020.

Related to the R.I.D.E. 2020 transit network cost-neutral design was the former METRO funding partner contribution formula, which was established in 1986 and had unintended consequences for the overall design of the network today. The interlocal agreement that created the agency in 1986 dictated that any service miles within the system must stay within the jurisdiction that funds them. For example, up until a recent approved change, service miles could not be added in the City of Little Rock without removing service miles from another Little Rock location. In other words, the agency could not add service miles to one jurisdiction by removing them from another jurisdiction. (Moving service miles from one jurisdiction to another could also be achieved with establishment of a dedicated public transit funding source, which is outside of the agency’s control.) To address this funding challenge, the R.I.D.E. 2020 project also delivered a funding formula recommendation that stabilizes funding partner contributions in the event of recommended service changes from year to year, recognizes the benefit of transit service to the funding jurisdiction, promotes regional growth and protects fixed expenses from service fluctuations.

Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, when METRO is experiencing an unprecedented number of employee absences and is taking extraordinary precautions to protect public health, a new long-term funding formula recommendation was needed to adequately plan for future public transit service. In anticipation of reduced city, county and state revenues during the pandemic, METRO is moving forward with cost-neutral service change recommendations, while using the models based on additional funding to plan for future service.

Public Input

Public comments were taken into consideration at the review’s onset and continue to influence the recommendations. Technology tools also played a role: METRO uses transit planning software to make more precise calculations to create proposed route changes, taking into account jurisdiction boundaries, which change on an irregular basis. Automated passenger counters provide accurate data as to how many riders are boarding and alighting at each bus stop in the 1,600-stop system.

Field work performed by METRO vendors and staffers yielded information on trip generators (places to which riders travel), rider behavior patterns (such as when riders are traveling and why: work and school commutes, travel to health appointments, grocery stores, etc.) and factors that could affect proposed route schedule times (at-grade railroad crossings, school car rider lines, etc.). This field work also included a 2019 rider survey and input from the public during the January 2020 R.I.D.E. 2020 public outreach.

“With the approval of the entire proposed cost-neutral model, the big wins for riders include an increase to 75 percent of riders having access to 30-minute service, up from 22 percent under the pre-COVID-19 network model, and the extension of Route 5 to Chenal Parkway, which is easily the No. 1 rider service request we have received for the last few years. These are pretty big wins for a cost-neutral design,” said Becca Green, director of public engagement. “We continue to look for ways to improve the service and network for riders.”

Following a 30-day public comment period the METRO Board of Directors approved the plan Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, with some modified plans for Routes 4, 5 and 13 based on public feedback. The network changes are slated to begin in 2022-2023 and will be phased in, taking into account METRO’s COVID-19 response and related service modifications, with phase timing subject to change as needed.

Rock Region METRO Hosted Three July 2020 Public Information Meetings

Rock Region METRO hosted three public information meetings in downtown North Little Rock in July 2020.

The events allowed community members to discuss proposed annual service enhancements, including proposed changes to 24 bus routes.

Meeting attendees were limited to 44 (20 attendees for the July 9 meeting), first-come, first-served to engage in social distancing; all proposed changes were posted online following the July 8 meeting, kicking off a 30-day comment period. Attendees were required to wear face coverings that fully covered their noses and mouths for the entire length of the meetings.

Meeting dates, times and locations were:

Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Doors open at 11 a.m.), Simmons Bank Arena, 1 Simmons Bank Arena Dr., North Little Rock (Lower Box Office entrance along Washington Street, street-level; parking is available across Washington Street.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 5:30-7 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.), Simmons Bank Arena, 1 Simmons Bank Arena Dr., North Little Rock (Lower Box Office entrance along Washington Street, street-level; parking is available across Washington Street.)

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Doors open at 11 a.m.), Central Arkansas Library System Main Branch, Darragh Center, 100 Rock St., Little Rock

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 this 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

  • 30-Minute All-Day Service on Several Routes
  • Simplified Local Service
  • More Direct and Faster Service
  • New Service on Chenal Parkway
  • Expanded Microtransit Zones

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 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

Route 5 West Markham

To fulfill the No. 1 rider service request and improve frequency, Route 5 West Markham will be aligned along Markham Street on its east portion of the route and expanded to serve Chenal Parkway to Rahling Road, providing new transit access for employees, shoppers, and residents of West Little Rock. Route 5 will no longer deviate into the UAMS campus, but will serve the campus through an enhanced transit stop at Markham & Pine Streets. Riders can also connect directly with the new UAMS Circulator route, which will run every 15 minutes serving all UAMS and VA facilities.

Map of Approved Markham Corridor Network

2020 Route 5 Approved Recommendation Map

Route 1 Pulaski Heights

To reduce duplication along Markham Street and provide a new, second north-south midtown Little Rock connection within the transit network, Route 1 will be realigned along its eastern portion to provide a new north/south crosstown connection on Pine and Cedar, between Hillcrest and Asher Avenue, near the intersection of Roosevelt. While the alignment west of Kavanaugh & Beechwood will remain the same, the route will operate bidirectionally on Beechwood & Lee, and southbound on Cedar/northbound on Pine, terminating at Asher Ave. This alignment offers connections to Routes 3, 5, 14 and 16, alleviating the need to travel to the downtown area to make those connections and reconnecting the neighborhoods north and south of I-630. Three of those connecting routes – Routes 3, 5 and 14 – are in the Top 5 highest-ridership routes in the system, so this is an especially meaningful connection. METRO will work with the city, private developers, UAMS and the VA hospital to establish an accessible connection to the hospital campuses. Following public feedback for this recommendation, METRO is launching a 15-minute UAMS Circulator route that will share stops with Routes 5 West Markham and Route 1 Pulaski Heights serving the UAMS/VA campuses so riders can connect to locations within the campuses.

Map of Approved Markham Corridor Network

2020 Route 1 Approved Recommendation Map

Routes 17 Mabelvale/Downtown, 22 University Ave./Mabelvale and 23 Baseline/Southwest

To reduce redundancy along University Avenue, Geyer Springs Road and Baseline Road, improve the customer experience for transfers, improve the area’s span of service and improve frequencies on a key connector route, METRO is implementing the following Southwest Little Rock service modifications: Route 17, which shared most of its route with Routes 22 and 23, is permanently eliminated. Route 22 will be modified to serve the Midtown Avenue shopping and health centers at its northern terminus and the Baseline Walmart at its southern terminus, replacing the one-way loop along Mabelvale with bidirectional service along Geyer Springs Road and Mabelvale Cutoff Road. The elimination of one-way service is expected to greatly improve the rider transfer experience and will aid Little Rock School District students accessing Southwest High School near the route’s southern terminus.

Map of Approved Southwest Little Rock Network

2020 Route 22 Approved Recommendation Map

2020 Route 23 Approved Recommendation Map

Route 8 Rodney Parham

To avoid duplication of service along Markham Street (with the pending re-alignment of Route 5), METRO is streamlining Route 8 by permanently removing its portion east of University Avenue and its route deviation to Mississippi and H Streets, both of which were suspended early in the global coronavirus pandemic as part of METRO’s service response to the pandemic.

2020 Route 8 Approved Recommendations Map

Routes 2 South Main, 14 Rosedale, 11 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Drive and 16 UA – Little Rock

To improve the customer experience and offer transit access to more locations along major arterial roads with more transit destinations, METRO is making the following modifications to Routes 2, 11, 14 and 16, which primarily serve locations south of I-630. Routes 2 and 11 will be interlined to create more streamlined bidirectional service and are complemented by a realignment of Route 14 to turn north from Roosevelt onto Main Street. The result is a streamlined grid of connected transit service with more even stop spacing for access to more places. Route 2 South Main, which will undergo a name change to Broadway, will primarily operate along Broadway Street. It will be interlined with Route 11 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Drive, which means Route 11 riders will benefit from the elimination of a long one-way service loop. Route 14 Rosedale, which will be renamed South Main/Rosedale service will be realigned to Main Street to improve frequencies, as well as serve Roosevelt, a major Little Rock arterial road, east of Schiller to Main Street. Route 14 will also continue straight to 36th Street rather than deviating to Colonel Glenn Road, which is already served by the METRO Connect John Barrow Road on-demand service zone. Route 16 UA – Little Rock will serve the perimeter of the UA – Little Rock campus, including transit destinations along University Avenue, offering a more direct transfer opportunity to Route 22.

Map of Approved South Little Rock Network

2020 Route 2 Approved Recommendation Map

2020 Route 11 Approved Recommendation Map

2020 Route 14 Approved Recommendation Map

2020 Route 16 Approved Recommendation Map

Route 6 Granite Mountain

To improve the customer experience, Route 6 Granite Mountain will be streamlined to a more direct alignment. The route will also offer bidirectional service along Barber between 21st and Roosevelt, in order to more directly serve Kroger.

Map of Approved South Little Rock Network

2020 Route 6 Approved Recommendation Map

Routes 19 Hensley Express, 26 Maumelle/Oak Grove Express, 36 Sherwood/Jacksonville Express and 25 Pinnacle Mountain Express

To streamline the overall transit network and improve service where riders use it most, including adding the No. 1 rider service request to the network design, which is to serve Chenal Parkway up to Rahling Road, a major jobs corridor, METRO permanently discontinued its four former express routes to realign staff and bus resources to higher ridership routes at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. At the time, the former express routes were the lowest ridership routes in the transit system and were the most expensive to operate. The very minimal rider feedback METRO received in response to these route discontinuations is indicative of the declining express route ridership logged over a multi-year period. While there is still a need for transit service in some of these areas, the need is minimal and has changed in nature since these routes were implemented more than 30 years ago. To address existing transit needs, METRO is exploring new and different services, such as limited on-demand weekly shuttles, to reach outer suburban areas with some level of transit demand. METRO is also encouraging Route 19, 26, 36 and 25 riders looking for jobs access to explore the newer METRO Pool shared-rides-to-jobs service, which provides groups of four riders or more to a new-model vehicle (SUV, crossover, van, etc.) to ride together from nearby areas to jobs sites that are located close to each other.
Various transit service solutions for residents in these areas are being explored. Any potential new service model for these areas would be implemented in Fall/Winter 2022, pending approval from the respective jurisdictions to re-join the METRO system under its new funding formula and invest in such service. To date, METRO has an agreement with the City of Jacksonville to launch a microtransit zone within the city. A similar zone is being discussed with the City of Sherwood. A limited microtransit zone serving Hensley operates once a week to connect residents to the main transit network for health appointments, grocery shopping and more.

Map of Express Route Service Area with Potential Microtransit Areas

Route 10 McCain Mall

To streamline service, Route 10 McCain Mall will no longer deviate into McCain Mall and will instead serve the mall campus by operating along McCain Boulevard. The terminal loop will be streamlined and straightened so only riders going to Baptist Health-North Little Rock have to ride through the Baptist Health campus. (The bus will turn south onto Richards Road, loop through the Baptist Health campus, then turn right onto Stockton Drive, and left/north onto Richards Road again.)

Route 13 UA – Pulaski Technical College
To provide more direct service and improved connectivity, Route 13 UA – Pulaski Technical College will be streamlined to use Pike Avenue and Pershing Boulevard to access the UA – Pulaski Technical College and Fort Roots VA destinations. This is a modification of the route change recommendation initially discussed (that plan would have changed north of 18th Street to use Percy Machin Drive, 22nd Street and Willow Street to access Pershing Boulevard) but will allow the bus to operate without interruption from a railroad crossing in the area. The route will meet the current route pattern along Pershing Boulevard at the Memorial Drive intersection. To provide a shorter trip for riders, the terminal loop at UA – Pulaski Technical College would not deviate north of Pershing to Scenic or south into the Sarah Daisy Apartments. This modified route offers the first east-west North Little Rock transit connection in the METRO system, city and county history – a boon for riders looking for connection to jobs and shopping along the JFK and McCain corridors and to better access the UA – Pulaski Technical College campus from residences in the midtown and east areas of North Little Rock.

Map of Approved North Little Rock Route 10-13-18 Areas

2020 Route 10 Approved Recommendation Map

2020 Route 13 Approved Recommendation Map

Route 18 McAlmont

To provide a more direct and therefore shorter travel time for riders, Route 18 will be streamlined and operate bidirectionally along Broadway between Main Street and Glenview Lane. This will provide more transit access to areas north of Broadway. Route 18 will also no longer deviate to Sam Evans Drive. The rest of the alignment will be streamlined to reduce one-way and Sunday-only service. Two separate METRO Connect zones will replace service on Sam Evans Dr. and Eureka Garden, respectively.

Map of Approved North Little Rock Route 10-13-18 Areas

2020 Route 18 Approved Recommendation Map

PENDING METRO Connect McAlmont Zone Map

Route 4 Levy/Amboy

To improve access to transit and the rider experience, Route 4 Levy/Amboy will be replaced by both a METRO Connect zone, providing better all-day local neighborhood access to transit, and an am/pm peak period express route, offering a fast and direct connection from the Levy/Amboy area to the River Cities Travel Center. This change will provide convenient, on-demand, nearby transit service to more residents and eliminate a large, one-way transit loop with a termination point that riders find confusing for accurate schedule prediction. This change includes enhancing a transit stop for the Levy/Amboy microtransit zone at Willow & Pershing for connections to Route 13 UA – Pulaski Technical College and Route 10 McCain Mall. Following public feedback, METRO added a Route 4 Levy/Amboy express bus during peak morning and afternoon commuting times to the transit network plan. This route will operate on the same neighborhood loop as the existing route and will operate along I-40 and I-30 to reach the downtown Little Rock bus station for transfers to the larger network.

Map of Approved Route 4 Express and Levy/Amboy and Shorter College Microtransit Zone

2020 Route 4 Approved Recommendation Map (Focus on Route 4 Area of Entire Zone)

PENDING METRO Connect Levy-Amboy Zone Map

Route 7 Shorter College

To improve access to transit and the rider experience, Route 7 is replaced by a temporary METRO Connect zone that will become a separate permanent microtransit zone, the METRO Connect Shorter College-Dixie Zone, in June 2022 to provide better neighborhood access to transit. This change will provide convenient, on-demand, nearby transit service to more residents and eliminate confusing, one-way service loops that make it difficult for riders to know where to catch inbound and outbound buses. This change would include enhancing a transit stop for the microtransit zone at Willow & Pershing for connections to both the Levy and Amboy neighborhoods, Route 13 UA – Pulaski Technical College and Route 10 McCain Mall.

Map of Approved Route 4 Express and Levy/Amboy and Shorter College Microtransit Zone

2020 Route 7 Approved Recommendation Map (Focus on Route 7 Area of Entire Zone)

PENDING METRO Connect Shorter College Zone Map

Route 3 Baptist Medical Center

Route 3 Baptist Medical Center has no proposed alignment changes and may undergo some minor schedule changes in relation to other route changes.

2020 Route 3 Approved Recommendation Map (No Route Pattern Change)

PENDING METRO Connect John Barrow Road Zone Map

Route 21 Riverdale/METRO Connect Riverdale Microtransit Zone Pilot Project

To improve the customer experience and make efficient use of agency resources, METRO suspended Route 21 Riverdale in March 2020 to begin a 1-year microtransit pilot project. The former Route 21 Riverdale was permanently discontinued in August 2020 and Riverdale residents continue to be served via METRO Connect Riverdale microtransit service.

PENDING METRO Connect Riverdale Zone Map

Routes 12 Clinton Center/Airport and 20 Hanger Hill/College Station

To improve access to transit and the rider experience, the former Routes 12 Clinton Center Airport and 20 Hanger Hill/College Station, the two lowest ridership non-express fixed routes in the bus system, were replaced with a METRO Connect microtransit zone that covers Hanger Hill, East Village, College Station, the airport and the port. This temporary zone will be slightly expanded and made permanent in June 2022 as the METRO Connect East Little Rock Zone. This change provides convenient, on-demand, nearby transit service to more residences and job sites. This change also includes adding Sunday service to the former Route 20, service area, which it has not previously enjoyed. The zone offers connections to most METRO fixed bus routes and various microtransit zones at the River Cities Travel Center. In addition, special fixed-route “tripper” service are provided to serve the eStem Schools East Village campus. Tripper bus runs coincide with morning and afternoon dismissal times from eStem’s East Village campus during the academic year.

Map of Approved East Little Rock Microtransit Zone

PENDING METRO Connect East Little Rock Zone Map

The overall network design does have an impact on the Links service area, but most of the riders affected have access to the accessible METRO Connect on-demand ride-sharing service, which offers same-day service and is the same fare as the fixed route system.

Specifically, this METRO Links paratransit service map – adjusted for all the accompanying route change recommendations for Summer or Fall 2022, with timing subject to METRO’s ongoing COVID-19 service response (or beyond, depending on the implementation phasing) – details areas of impact: The teal color on the majority of the map represents proposed paratransit coverage, all of which is currently in service. The yellow-green color on the map represents areas that currently have paratransit service that would not be covered by paratransit service in Summer or Fall 2022 (or beyond, depending on the implementation phasing). Most of these areas, such as the Levy/Amboy neighborhood in North Little Rock and the airport and port/Hanger Hill and College Station neighborhoods area in East Little Rock will instead enjoy microtransit service, which operates with accessible vehicles and offers paratransit riders something regular paratransit service cannot: Same-day service without up-to-30-minute pickup windows, with fixed-route service fares (which are half the cost of paratransit service). The areas in blue, which are a small residential area in Southwest Little Rock and along the proposed Route 5 West Markham extension along Chenal Boulevard to the Chenal Promenade shopping center, represent new paratransit service coverage. These changes are dependent on all existing route recommendations going into effect beginning in 2022-2023. METRO’s ongoing COVID-19 response will require phased implementation of the plan, and phase timing adjustments will be made as necessary.

Map of Approved METRO Links Service Area

There was a 30-day public comment period July 8-Aug. 7 for the 2020 proposed annual service enhancements, followed by by a Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 approval for the proposed changes, with modifications to Routes 4, 5 and 13, by the METRO Board of Directors. Changes will be implemented beginning in Summer or Fall 2022, with timing subject to METRO’s ongoing COVID-19 service response and phase timing adjustments made as needed.

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