LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The streetcar system is a unique feature in downtown Little Rock and recently it has seen more riders than usual.
The Rock Region Metro is offering free rides all summer long and has turned out to be a big success for the system. This is the first time the city has offered free rides for an extended period of time
Director of Public Engagement for Rock Region Metro Becca Green said the city has seen a 33 percent increase in riders compared to two summers ago.
"We just wanted to offer the street car to anybody who wanted to ride it without fares being a barrier," Green said.
The free rides started the day before River Fest and the increase and riders has not stopped since.
“We started it the day before River Fest and overnight from a normal fare day to a Thursday with farer free promotions, we tripled our ridership,” Green said. “It’s a great distraction for kids and wonderful for our visitors to the city of course and an inexpensive way for families to have fun while they’re out and about.”
We spoke one of the streetcar drivers and he said he has seen more locals riding than usual.
“We like coming on the trolley. We take family and friends that come into town and we like to show them Little Rock this way,” Little Rock resident Gina Junkans said.
Junkans also said the free ride was a pleasant surprise.
"It was very exciting. Very good to you know put the money back in our pockets," Junkans said.
Junkans’ son James also said he hopes the free rides will allow his mom to bring him by more often.
"Going on the bridge over the river, I would say that's the most fun," James said.
Green said Rock Region Metro is looking into a similar program to this one, since it is so successful.
“If you haven’t been downtown in a while, it’s a great way to find out about what’s going on downtown, what’s being developed here,” she said.
Free rides on the streetcars are available through August 31.