On Dec. 15, the Pulaski County Quorum Court approved placing a quarter-cent sales tax to fund the Rock Region METRO public transit system on the March 1 election ballot. If the initiative is approved by voters, the tax will establish a dedicated funding source for central Arkansas’ public transit system, generating a forecasted $18.2 million annually for the system.
Funds generated would make possible an aggressive public transit service improvement plan, dubbed MOVE Central Arkansas and developed by the San Francisco-based transportation development firm Nelson/Nygaard for Rock Region METRO.
“Demand for innovative public transit services in our area has never been higher. We are excited to have this opportunity to bring higher-quality public transit infrastructure to our fellow Arkansans,” said Jarod Varner, Rock Region METRO executive director. “We are encouraged by the numerous community leaders from government, business and nonprofit sectors who spent the better part of a year and a half developing the MOVE Central Arkansas plan alongside our consulting group and are very pleased with the results. We know our public transit system can better meet the needs of our citizens and are excited to bring central Arkansas the public transit system it deserves.”
MOVE Central Arkansas plan highlights include improving frequencies on major routes; providing local fixed-route service for the first-time ever in West Little Rock and the cities of Maumelle, Jacksonville and Sherwood; establishing cross-town routes in North Little Rock; creating a West Little Rock express route; improving Pulaski County express routes; establishing flex zones offering on-demand service in less densely populated areas; developing bus rapid transit service along major corridors; and modernizing the passenger experience.