Metroplan, the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for Faulkner, Lonoke, Pulaski, and Saline counties, is conducting a study to determine the feasibility of an express bus service between Little Rock and Conway.
An express service would offer people an alternative to driving their personal vehicles and cut travel time by limiting pick-up and drop-off locations along the way.
Residents who travel between these cities are encouraged to participate in an online survey that asks questions about the individual’s travel time, beginning point and end point, and their opinions about using such a service. Deputy Director Richard Magee said there are other tools that will also be used in the study.
“We also have a regional travel demand model, which basically estimates the number of people within certain areas by what we call traffic area zones. We can come up with a reasonable estimate of people, based on the traveling model that would actually utilize that service,” Magee said.
The results from the study will incorporate information from census data, commuting patterns and survey responses. The study will be published by the end of the year and will include potential ridership, operating costs, revenues, and other public benefits. Magee said there would be numerous public benefits if this program is implemented.
“It would help reduce the number of cars on the freeway during peak hours of travel. It would help in terms of air quality and cost in terms of people’s personal cost for fuel and maintaining their vehicle,” Magee said.
There will also be a service plan identifying the best transit routes for the service.
Participants have until the end of October to respond to the survey. The survey can be found on Metroplan.org.