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Little Rock - November 2011

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Little Rock — New Campaign to Boost Ridership

Rail Transit Online, November 2011

An attempt to counter an alarming drop in ridership on the River Rail streetcar is getting underway, with transit and community leaders seeking ideas on how to promote the 3.4-mi. (5.5 km) system.

A committee has been formed to develop a campaign informing the public about the value of the streetcar, which covers central Little Rock and North Little Rock, and promoting its use. The replica Birney cars, built by Gomaco, carried approximately 200,000 passengers in the first full year of operation seven years ago, but by 2010 the figure had dropped to 107,000.

Central Arkansas Transportation Authority Director Betty Wineland said River Rail has encouraged development. "There's been almost a quarter of a billion dollars in development either on the route or in close proximity," she told KUAR Radio News. Wineland also disputes critics who cite ridership as a measure of the streetcar's success. "It wasn't built as a commuting service actually," she told KUAR.


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