Based on the success of its Rock the Rails promotion, Rock Region METRO is extending its fare-free streetcar rides September-December to encourage riders to skip the hunt for parking during lunch breaks, special events and other downtown happenings. The METRO Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the promotion, noting its support from Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County leaders.
“Removing yet another barrier to frequent and regular use of the METRO Streetcar has been a boon to ridership,” said Jarod Varner, METRO executive director. “Our staff has been hard at work making sure more people, especially locals who live or work downtown, know how to check the streetcar’s schedule and use the free METROtrack mobile app to figure out exactly when the streetcar is coming. With the tools we’ve put in place, riders can better incorporate the streetcar into their weekly routines and share their knowledge with visitors.
“We’ve seen as much as a 33 percent increase in ridership after launching our fare-free summer promotion and hope even more people will continue to use the streetcar to explore downtown from a different perspective.”
Riders can learn more about the two streetcar routes (the Little Rock-North Little Rock Blue Line can easily be distinguished from the Little Rock-service-only Green Line as “blue” for “water,” meaning the Blue Line crosses the Arkansas River and serves both Little Rock and North Little Rock), streetcar schedules (streetcar service operates seven days a week, excluding six holidays per year, with later service Thursday-Saturday) and the free METROtrack mobile app at rrmetro.org.
This fare-free promotion period is not expected to cost the METRO funding partners any additional revenue, as the METRO Streetcar service is expected to end the year under budget. METRO is reaching out to riders about the fare-free promotion with updated signage and marketing and communications efforts.