Initial planning has begun to consider providing express bus service between Conway, Little Rock and North Little Rock.
The urban planning organization Metroplan recently conducted a study to determine the feasibility of providing the public transit service.
Study Director Casey Covington says community feedback shows there would be support for the idea, but there are initial, monetary challenges.
“The first step in terms of implementing this service would be providing some local funds or existing federal funds that could help pay for this service,” Covington says.
He adds that “there would need to be some upfront funding from the city of Conway and Faulkner County and potentially others to help get this service up and running.” Covington predicts once the service is in use, it will generate additional funds to help support itself.
Metroplan is now considering possible operators to commute what they expect to initially be 75-100 passengers.
“One option would be for Conway and Faulkner County to operate the service through their agency. They could also contract with either a private provider or Central Arkansas Transit, which could provide the service,” he says.
Central Arkansas Transit currently offers express busing from Jacksonville, Maumelle and Pinnacle Mountain into downtown Little Rock.
Metroplan says the service’s target market is “choice riders” who are individuals who do not depend on, but choose to ride public transportation.