Rock Region METRO is offering free streetcar rides throughout all of 2019! This offer has launched in an effort to increase the streetcar use. Be sure to take advantage of this Rock Region METRO‘s offer during the new year!
“We are so thrilled to partner with the cities and county to capitalize on this unique attraction in our community. Especially as the streetcar system heads into its 15th anniversary year and we explore more ways to partner with the hospitality industry that benefits from it, we are looking forward to bringing back fare-free rides, which allow visitors and locals easy access to all the sights our downtown areas have to offer,”  METRO Executive Director Charles D. Frazier said in a statement on Rock Region METRO’s website.
According to Rock Region METRO’s website, this offer will not require any additional funding from the county or the cities because of previous savings. Streetcar ridership has faced many obstacles over the past few years, causing a decrease in riders. Rock Region METRO has tried to find new ways for people to pay for rides since fewer and fewer people are carrying cash through means of tokens and even phone applications.
“When METRO tested free streetcar rides in 2017, monthly ridership increased more than 30 percent, and we’re confident we can encourage similar monthly passenger trip totals, especially during the spring and summer tourism season,” Frazier said.
Rock Region METRO was founded in 1986 under the name Central Arkansas Transit Authority. In 2017, they had more than 2.5 million passenger trips taken on their system. METRO employs around 200 people including administrators, supervisors, operators, maintenance staff, and customer service representatives. Their mission is to: “Provide safe, reliable, convenient and cost-effective transit service with a skilled team of employees dedicated to our customers’ needs and committed to excellence.”
“The entire reason the streetcar system exists is to bring awareness to our downtown restaurants, hotels, shops and cultural amenities, and we’re happy to have the continued support of these businesses as we do our part to contribute to the economic viability and ambiance of central Arkansas’ downtown neighborhoods,” Frazier said .
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