Rock Region METRO and the City of Conway launched the first public transit service in the city, METRO Connect Conway, in October.
The public microtransit service offers on-demand, point-to-point trips within the city with an easy-to-use ride-booking interface, real-time vehicle information, reasonable wait and travel times, and affordable fares. The service operates 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday though Saturday.
“After a lot of hard work and planning, we are thrilled to be offering this service to Conway residents,” said Mayor Bart Castleberry. “Employing microtransit service, which is a relatively low-cost transit service, allows us to maximize federal funding to improve mobility options for all of our residents, helping to connect them to health appointments, educational opportunities, jobs and more.”
METRO Connect Conway offers shared rides throughout the planned service zone, which covers most areas within the Conway city limits and was designed with input from city staff; various data sources and metrics.
The service is designed to accommodate up to 100 passenger trips per day and can be adjusted as demand changes. METRO Connect Conway rides may be booked using a smartphone app, the free Transloc Microtransit App, or by using a dial-in phone number. METRO Connect Conway fares are $2 per person per trip and may be paid via the free Token Transit app or exact change.
Conway surpassed a population of 50,000 residents in the last several years, spawning the creation of its own Urbanized Area as determined by the U.S. Census; this change made the City eligible for federal public transit funding. In 2018, the Conway City Council approved a resolution that named METRO the direct recipient of its Federal Transit Administration Urbanized Area Formula Program funds.
Through this agreement, METRO operates public transit within the City using funds that remain with METRO for use but are earmarked for Conway transit service and transit-oriented projects. The partnership utilizes METRO’s experience as the state’s largest public transit agency and allows Conway the opportunity to launch a new mobility-oriented public service for its residents and guests.
“We are very excited to be launching Conway’s public transit service and help the city meet the needs of its growing population. This microtransit service launch not only complements Conway’s green initiatives but also lays the foundation for the region’s multi-modal connectivity needs,” said Justin Avery, METRO chief executive officer.
Visit rrmetro.org to learn more.