Favorite

CATA out of bag: Now Rock Region Metro 

METRO MAESTRO: Central Arkansas Transit Director Jarod Varner with one of the new natural gas-powered buses.
  • METRO MAESTRO: Central Arkansas Transit Director Jarod Varner with one of the new natural gas-powered buses.

CATA in Little Rock has quit pussyfooting around: The Rock Region Metro has rolled out, with 15 snazzy new compressed natural gas buses and the entire fleet of 58 equipped with free Wi-Fi. Plus, starting in September, you'll be able to text the Rock Region Metro or download an app to let you know when the next bus will pull up to your stop. New bus stop signs will tell you more than you're standing at a bus stop: They'll show route maps — what a concept! — and information on how text to get your schedule.

Trolley stops showing the new Rock Region Metro branding have been unveiled and the new buses hit the streets Tuesday. Jarod Varner, CATA director, is aiming for bigger improvements: He wants a bus system with a "hierarchy" that fits the needs of Little Rock commuters. That means a bus rapid transit (BRT in CATA-speak) routes that would shuttle people between downtown and points west with pickups only 10 to 15 minutes apart, stopping at stations instead of shelters; "flex zones," where travelers could schedule pick-ups on smaller buses from mini-hubs to the larger transit system; and more buses in North Little Rock so that people trying to travel from east to west — say from Pulaski Tech to McCain Mall — don't have to go to Little Rock first. "It's all about modernizing," Varner says. If RR Metro can "put the service where it needs to go in a format it needs, we will generate more demand."

Varner also believes that an improved public transit system would have a positive impact on economic development, and the transit authority board agrees: It has approved a plan to seek a referendum on a ¼-cent tax that would provide $23 million for the new plan. CATA's new website will reflect the new name: rrmetro.org.

thebigpicture1-2-b937d08504562ef5.jpg
Favorite

Speaking of The Rock Region Metro, Jarod Varner

  • Freedom ride for Rock Region

    February 18, 2016
    Dedicated tax will give bus agency flexibility to improve. /more/
  • AFP strays from conservative party line in opposition to bus tax

    January 22, 2016
    David Ray, the state director of the right-wing anti-taxation group Americans for Prosperity, which is placing hangtags on people's doors warning "Pulaski County Residents will Pay the Price" if a proposed .25 cent tax raise on the March 2 ballot passes, said in an email yesterday that "our activists have knocked doors across Pulaski County, we hear many people ask why the county insists on raising taxes to expand bus routes when there are severe problems with roads and underperforming schools. Folks living in Pulaski County should understand how local government is raising revenue and spending it." /more/
  • AFP launches fight against Rock Region .25 cent

    January 20, 2016
    Americans for Prosperity has launched an attack on the quarter-cent tax increase that would provided $18 million a year to improve public transportation in Little Rock. The hang-tag above is being distributed. The tax vote is set for March 1. You can bet no one associated with AFP rides a bus. They may not even drive themselves. /more/
  • Thumbing down on that I-30 ride

    November 12, 2015
    Ten-lane plan invigorates opposition, ideas for better way. /more/
  • Rock Region Metro seeks quarter-cent sales tax

    November 9, 2015
    The board of Rock Region Metro, formerly the Central Arkansas Transit System, voted today to ask the Pulaski County Quorum Court to call a referendum on a quarter-cent sales tax that would provide dedicated funding to the public transportation agency. The tax would be voted on March 1, 2016. at the same time as the primary elections. /more/
  • Jarod Varner picked to lead Central Arkansas Transit

    May 21, 2013
    Jarod Varner, who's been vice president of transit operations for the Denton County (Texas) Transportation Authority, where he's worked since 2005, has been selected to be the executive director of the Central Arkansas Transit Authority. /more/
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Inquizator: Holt Condren

    Holt Condren is an explorer and entrepreneur based in Maumelle, the founder of Ink Custom Tees and the author of "Surf the Woods: The Ordinary Man's Trail Map to the Extraordinary Life." He's also featured in a new documentary, "Finding Noah," which follows a team of archeologists and theologians to Mount Ararat, in Turkey, on a search for Noah's Ark. The film will premiere with a multicity one-night-only screening at 7 p.m. Oct. 8.
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • The devil is in the details at the Arkansas state Capitol

    The proposed Ten Commandments monument vs. the Satanic Temple's proposed Baphomet statue.
    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in The Big Picture

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Inconsequential News Quiz: Trumpocalypse Now Edition

    • PLEASE READ!!! Celebrate this season with joy and gladness in your heart, Do you know…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • I have been diagnosed with COPD for over 7 years. A couple of months ago…

    • on January 19, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • There is plenty of studies out there, which fill in the holes in this story…

    • on January 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation