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CATA looking to increase low ridership | News

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CATA looking to increase low ridership
CATA looking to increase low ridership

LITTLE ROCK, Ark (KTHV) - Fewer people are riding the bus in Central Arkansas. The Central Arkansas Transit Authority says they're down 5 percent in ridership from last year, saying the decrease came at the hands of this winter's weather.

"When it comes to level of investment in our system we're not at the top," said CATA executive director Jarod Varner.

In a day and age when there are more cars than people in the world the novel idea of public transportation can often be overlooked, and Varner wants to change that.

"I think there's room, much room for improvement when it comes to the service area as well as the frequency of service," he said.

Varner has had to implement cost saving measures that include lower fuel rates and fewer employee benefits to make up for the decrease in ridership.

"It comes at a time that we're being very introspective," he continued.

CATA is developing a strategic plan that will develop over the next year as the transit authority looks to help itself by helping those it serves.

"We're not providing the frequency that we need to and that's why we're going through this strategic plan," Varner elaborated.

Varner says CATA hopes to increase bus frequency through its strategic plan.

The department's next strategic planning meeting will be September 23rd - and they'll start addressing public opinion in the coming months.