We’re all trying to live greener and smarter these days, and for many urban dwellers, taking public transportation is part of that. While the River Rail streetcar may not be all that practical for long-distance commuters, it is a whole lot of fun, and the Central Arkansas Transit Authority has bus options to get you all the way from Roland out west to the airport in the east if you’re willing to make a few transfers. Here’s the low-down on getting around town.
River Rail Trolley System
The River Rail trolley system connects the River Market area of downtown Little Rock (which includes the Clinton Presidential Library) with Argenta, downtown North Little Rock. CATA is in the process of accepting bids to build a new trolley stop at 2nd and Rock Streets. For more information, call 374-5354 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fare: $1 per boarding for ages 12-64, 50 cents per boarding for persons 65 and over, those with disabilities and ages 5 to 11. Those under 4 years old ride free. Fare must be exact; drivers don’t carry change. An unlimited-ride day pass may be purchased for $2, a three-day pass may be purchased for $5, or a 20-ride card for $15.00
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 8:30 a.m.-midnight Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun.
There are two trolley routes, the Blue and the Green.
Blue Route: Begins at Seventh and Main in North Little Rock, travels to Maple Street, to Broadway, then stops at Verizon Arena before taking the Main Street bridge south to Markham Street in Little Rock. Travels east on President Clinton Avenue, turns right on Commerce Street, left on Third Street and then makes a loop that includes stops at Clinton Library and Heifer International on the east and Spring Street (in front of the Robinson Center) on the west. Returns to Seventh and Main. Loop time: 35 minutes.
Green Route: Loop begins at the River Market, travels south on Commerce Street, west on Second Street to Spring Street, returning to River Market on Markham (President Clinton Avenue east of LaHarpe). Loop time: 15 minutes. Note that Green Route trolleys do not go to North Little Rock.
All Pulaski County citizens who are certified as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act can use CATA’s Links Paratransit, which features smaller, wheelchair-lift equipped buses and curb-to-curb service. In order to take advantage of Links, riders must apply first using a form available through the CATA office at 901 Maple St. in North Little Rock. Call 375-6717 for more information. Links drivers may enter a commercial building to assist riders, but cannot enter a private residence or carry bags or packages. The cost is $2.70 for a one-way trip, $5.40 for a round trip, or $25 for a book of ten tickets. Drivers don’t carry change, so have the exact amount. Hours of operation are: 5:30 a.m.-9:15 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 5:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sat. and 8 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Sun.
CATA Bus Service
Main terminal: River Cities Travel Center, 310 E. Capitol Ave. in Little Rock (Fourth and Cumberland streets; “downtown” on information below).
Fare: Adults, $1.35; children 4 and under ride free with adult; Children 5-11, .60 cents.
Pre-paid 31-day pass, $36; one-day pass, $3.75; Adult 10-ride card, $11.50
Routes: 25 (including express routes).
Maps and schedules of all routes are on www.cat.org. Service hours are 5 a.m.-8:15 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 5 a.m.-6:20 p.m. Sat.; 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Sun. No service on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. All CATA buses have bike racks on the front that can accommodate two bikes. Some routes are listed below; while directions are given from downtown Little Rock, all return on the same route unless indicated. For more information on schedules or service hours, call the CATA information office at 375-1163 or 375-6717.
Here are some of the more popular CATA bus routes:
Pulaski Heights. Downtown west through Hillcrest and the Heights to Cantrell and Keightly. Stops convenient to the state Capitol, the Arkansas School for the Blind and Arkansas School for the Deaf, Pulaski Heights Junior High School, Mount St. Mary Academy, Forest Park Elementary.
Baptist Medical Center. Downtown to Shackleford’s Executive Center via 12th Street, University and Kanis. Stops convenient to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, St. Vincent Doctors Hospital, University Mall, Baptist Medical Center, and the Arkansas Heart Hospital, Central High School, the state Capitol and the federal courthouse.
Levy/Amboy. Downtown to North Little Rock’s Camp Robinson area. Stops convenient to the North Little Rock Boys and Girls Club, North Little Rock High School West Campus, William F. Laman Library, the Patrick H. Hays Citizens Center and the North Heights Recreation Center.
Granite Mountain. Downtown southeast to the Granite Mountain neighborhood. Stops convenient to MacArthur Park, Booker Magnet Elementary.
Pulaski Tech. Downtown north to Fort Roots campus of Veterans Administration Health System via Pike Avenue and Pershing Boulevard. Stops convenient to North Little Rock City Hall, Union Pacific Shops, Pulaski Technical College.
McCain Mall. Downtown north to McCain Mall via Main Street, JFK and McCain boulevards. Stops convenient to Boys and Girls Club, Laman Library, Hays Citizen Center, North Park Mall, Lakewood Village and McCain Mall.
South Main. Downtown south to 33rd and Gaines Streets. Stops convenient to the Southside Post Office on Main; the bus then takes 23rd Street to Ringo, 28th Street to Gaines, 33rd to Arch, Spring to 29th and returns on Main.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Downtown west to UALR via Wright Avenue, 20th Street and Fair Park. Stops convenient to the Governor’s Mansion, Dunbar Junior High, Stephens Elementary, the Lions World Services for the Blind and UALR.
University Avenue. Downtown to Asher and Bryant Street via Cantrell Road, Kavanaugh, Lee and University. Stops convenient to the Riverdale Shopping Center, Forest Heights Junior High School, Little Rock City Hall, Catholic High School, St. Vincent Infirmary, Park Plaza Mall, UALR, Bale Elementary and Southwest Junior High.
Rodney Parham. Downtown west to Green Mountain Drive and Merrill Drive via Lee, Mississippi, Markham and Rodney Parham. Stops convenient to state Capitol, Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf, Pulaski Heights Junior High, Forest Heights Junior High, Hall High, Breckenridge Village, Williams Magnet Elementary, Brady Primary School.
Airport/Presidential Library. Downtown east to Fourche Dam Pike and Roosevelt via Third, Sixth and Ninth streets. Stops convenient to the Clinton Library, Heifer International, Carver Elementary School, the East Little Rock Recreation Center and the Little Rock National Airport.
College Station. Downtown southeast to the Little Rock Port Industrial Park. Stops convenient to College Station Elementary School, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock Port Authority Industrial Park.
Mabelvale. Downtown southwest to I-30 and Mabelvale West via University, Forbing Road, Geyer Springs, Baseline and Chicot. Stops convenient to the State Police Headquarters, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the State Capitol.
Pinnacle Mountain Express. Downtown west to Roland (off Hwy. 300) via Highway 10, I-430 and I-630. No stops on the interstates. Stops at Walmart at Chenal Parkway and Highway 10, state Capitol.
Maumelle Express. Loops from downtown west to Maumelle via I-30, I-40, Highway 365, Maumelle Boulevard, I-430, I-630. No stops on the interstates. Stops include the Maumelle Community Center, the state Capitol and the Crystal Hill Park and Ride.
Jacksonville/Sherwood Express. Seventh and Wolfe streets north to the Little Rock Air Force Base via Sherwood. No stops on JFK Boulevard and Maple in North Little Rock. Stops include the LRAFB, Jacksonville Park and Ride, Gravel Ridge Baptist Church Park and Ride, Indian Hills Shopping Center, North Hills Park and Ride, State Library, state Capitol, the state Revenue Office and the River Cities Travel Center.