ROCK REGION METRO, LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTNER TO OFFER UNIVERSAL TRANSIT PASS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Mr Poore stands with members of Rock Region Metro
Fare Agreement Offers Passholders Unlimited Bus Access

(Aug. 15, 2017) — The Little Rock School District and Rock Region METRO have partnered to offer LRSD high school students a fare-free universal transit pass for the 2017-2018 academic year. The program, which provides passholders with unlimited bus rides for one year, launches Friday.

“We’re excited to team with the Little Rock School District to offer this pass,” said Jarod Varner, Rock Region METRO executive director. “The pass lets public high school students, their families and our city’s commuters get more value out of our transit system by reducing traffic and parking congestion, reducing carbon emissions, improving our air quality, and eliminating the need for parents and other caregivers to make additional school drop-off and pick-up trips during peak commuting hours.”

The universal pass program debuts Friday, Aug. 18 with an initial rollout to Excel and Metro students. The school district will supply students with related special identification. Passholders will then be able to show their specially marked IDs to Rock Region METRO bus drivers to use the system, free of charge, during all system operating hours and on all routes. Through the universal pass program, LRSD will pay one monthly flat fee to Rock Region METRO in exchange for the ability for all high school students to have unlimited use of the bus system.

“Transportation can be the difference in whether our students have access to educational enrichment, vocational training and jobs. We are happy to partner with Rock Region METRO to make that access even more attainable by removing the fee barrier for our students,” said Michael Poore, LRSD superintendent. “As we grow LRSD educational offerings, the ability to quickly connect students from school to school and from schools to internships and other employment opportunities is important to our success.”
 

The following METRO bus routes serve these LRSD high schools and educational training sites:

All Routes Except Routes 9 and 22: Aristotle, 401 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock

Routes 17 and 22: Bale School, 6501 W. 32nd Ave., Little Rock

Routes 8 and 22: Hall High School, 6700 H St., Little Rock

Route 3: Little Rock Central High School, 1500 S. Park St., Little Rock

Routes 17, 22 and 23: McClellan High School, 9417 Geyer Springs Road, Little Rock

Route 23: Metropolitan Career Technical Center, 7701 Scott Hamilton Dr., Little Rock

Route 9: Parkview High School 2501 John Barrow Rd., Little Rock

Routes 16, 17, 22 and 14: UA – Little Rock, 2801 S. University, Little Rock

About Rock Region METRO
Rock Region METRO is the public transit system serving 3 million passengers per year in the cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, Jacksonville and Sherwood and Pulaski County. It comprises the METRO Local fixed-route bus system, including 22 fixed routes and four express routes and covering 51,000 miles weekly; the METRO Links custom-route paratransit van system, covering 12,500 miles weekly; and the METRO Streetcar, a 3.4-mile streetcar system covering 1,080 miles weekly. Created in 1986 with an interlocal agreement among the partner jurisdictions, Rock Region METRO is governed by a 12-member board of directors who are appointed by its service cities and county. rrmetro.org

About Little Rock School District
The Little Rock School District is the largest district in the state with nearly 25,000 students. LRSD has the distinction of being home to a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence; more than 181 teachers with National Board Certification; Arkansas’s only K-8 STEM Academy; and historically, the most National Merit Semifinalists and Advanced Placement Scholars in the state. As the state’s largest provider of pre-K programs, LRSD gives students the start they need, equipping them with the foundational skills to do well throughout their K-12 school experience. By the time LRSD students reach high school, they have been exposed to a plethora of preparatory programs, including pre-AP, AP and classes with local universities that prepare them for college and beyond. Programs like AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), encourage college readiness among all students, providing academic and social support. Thanks to enhanced partnerships with the business community, LRSD’s newest Excel program will allow high school students to align their interests with real-world career opportunities.

The passes will initially be available to Excel and Metro students, and eventually to all LRSD high school students.  Information about the passes will be provided at individual schools.

 

Little Rock School District High School Universal Bus Pass Q-and-A

How do I get/use the Little Rock School District High School Universal Bus Pass?

Through a special fare agreement with Little Rock School District, all LRSD high school students are eligible for a LRSD Universal Bus Pass. This pass is not the METRO Student 31-Day Pass. LRSD pays a monthly flat fee to METRO for this program, which makes unlimited rides on METRO buses possible.

Here are the steps needed for LRSD high school students to get a LRSD Universal Bus Pass:

Students should visit their high schools’ selected administrator to receive a LRSD-issued Student Photo ID. This ID will carry a small sticker that METRO has provided the LRSD administrators. The sticker will be updated each semester, just as the UA – Little Rock and UA – Pulaski Technical College Universal Pass photo ID card stickers are.

Fare payments are METRO’s second largest funding source and a critical part of the METRO annual operating budget that funds current public transit service levels (such as the number of routes the system has, the frequency of service along those routes, rider amenities such as shelters, etc.). Therefore, it is important to METRO that riders are paying the appropriate fares and are not engaging in what is known as fare evasion.

To help prevent fare evasion, METRO requires LRSD high school students to carry and display their LRSD Student Photo ID, with its appropriate sticker, whenever boarding a METRO vehicle. This tactic is essentially requiring third-party validation for riders to help prevent fare evasion. For this reason, obtaining a LRSD Student Photo ID is not a step LRSD students want to save for getting at the last possible minute before trying to catch a bus and riding “free.”

LRSD Student Photo IDs have expiration dates (the end of the academic year), because students graduate and will need to make arrangements to purchase regular fare passes if they wish to ride the METRO system beyond graduation. Therefore, LRSD Student Photo IDs must be current to be used to board a bus and ride “free.”