Arkansas Transportation

Rock Region Metro transit buses CAT central arkansas transit
David Monteith / KUAR

Rock Region METRO, formerly known as Central Arkansas Transit, is asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase which would generate a projected $18 million, all earmarked for public transit. According to Executive Director Jarod Varner, the additional revenue would allow the organization to be more responsive to current passenger needs and attract new riders.

“Our system is anchored in a funding structure that was developed in 1986 and so it's very difficult to make major service changes. We want to modernize what we do,” said Varner               

Talk Business and Politics

Editor’s note: The Arkansas Transportation report is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA. Other transportation industry related stories can be found on the Arkansas Transportation Report landing page.

greencarreports.com

Motorists in Arkansas and the rest of the nation should get used to filling up their tanks for less after the U.S. Department of Energy forecasted on Tuesday that average pump prices for regular unleaded should remain on average below $2 per gallon throughout 2016.

In the near-term, a GasBuddy analyst said the bloated wholesale market for gasoline could also push pump prices in some parts of the U.S. below the one dollar a gallon mark in coming weeks, a level not seen since 1999.

A $250,000 grant to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission will be used to improve unpaved county roads in Arkansas.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and The Nature Conservancy jointly presented the check Tuesday to the AEDC's Rural Services Division. The Game and Fish Commission is providing $150,000 and The Nature Conservancy is providing $100,000.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport Sign
Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a $33.8 million bid for improvements on Interstate 440 near the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department says Kiewit Infrastructure South Company of Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded the bid for the project. The plan calls for the rehabilitation of 2.8 miles of Interstate 440 between Bankhead Drive and the Arkansas River bridge.

Talk Business & Politics

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said his highway funding plan will work without raising taxes by finding government efficiencies and continuing with the state’s Medicaid expansion. Without those planks, Hutchinson says tax increases will enter the debate.

Gov. Radio Column: Highway Funding Plan

Jan 23, 2016
Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of Jan. 22, 2016:

  This week I wanted to visit with you about Arkansas highways. The facts are we have declining revenue for our highways and our needs are greater than ever. And then we need additional funds for Arkansas to access new federal money that has been made available in recent federal highway program.

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Sign
commons.wikimedia.org

It was a mixed bag for Arkansas’ three largest airports in 2015. Clinton National Airport in Little Rock fell below a million enplanements, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) for the second consecutive year set a new record for traffic, and the Fort Smith Regional Airport saw traffic fall more than 7%.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced a plan to increase highway funding by $750 million over the next 10 years, making the state eligible for an additional $2 billion in federal matching funds over that time period that was made available by the federal highway bill passed by Congress in December.

Highways traffic Big Rock Interchange interstate
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to announce his plan Tuesday to address a shortfall in highway funding for Arkansas. Vehicles getting better gas mileage has led to a decrease in fuel tax revenue.

A task force Hutchinson appointed to study the issue recently recommended raising state fuel taxes or moving revenue from elsewhere in the state budget. The governor said earlier this month that all recommendations are on the table, though he wants it to be a revenue neutral approach that won’t increase state spending or increase taxes without cuts elsewhere.

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