Rock Region METRO is funded with local, state and federal monies, as well as direct revenue. Funding from local jurisdictions was established through an interlocal agreement established in 1986 and is based on service miles operated in each jurisdiction. In 2018, local jurisdictions provided $13,306,801, or 74 percent, of agency funding, with the remaining funding as follows: $2,370,325, or 13 percent, in direct revenue funds; $2,107,044, or 12 percent in federal funds and $310,000, or 1 percent in state funds for a total operating budget of $18,094,170.
The local jurisdictions of Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, Sherwood, Jacksonville and Pulaski County are responsible for the majority of Rock Region METRO funding. While basing their funding structure on service miles operated within each jurisdiction is an equitable way of splitting funding obligations among the local jurisdictions, it does not allow the agency the flexibility of meeting the changing public transit demands of central Arkansas. Even seemingly minor service changes can mean major changes for each jurisdiction’s public transit budget when factoring in the costs of a “minor” service change over 359 operating days throughout the year. For this reason, Rock Region METRO cannot make major changes to its existing service plan without a change to its funding structure.