Ozark Regional Transit adding routes, extending hours

A passenger disembarks from the Route 61 Ozark Regional Transit bus July 2, 2021, in front of the Walmart Supercenter on Thompson Street in Springdale. 
(File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
A passenger disembarks from the Route 61 Ozark Regional Transit bus July 2, 2021, in front of the Walmart Supercenter on Thompson Street in Springdale. (File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)

SPRINGDALE -- Ozark Regional Transit has made a lot of changes to routes in the larger cities it serves and expects to do more.

Buses, vans and drivers have already been added in Bentonville and Rogers to speed on-demand transit service, much like Uber or Lyft.

An additional vehicle is being added in Fayetteville, for a total of three, and the service area is being expanded and hours extended. Buses will run until 11 p.m Friday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Existing fixed routes and schedules will also change.

Starting Monday, Ozark Regional Transit's on-demand transit's service area in Fayetteville will be expanded west of College Avenue to, basically, the railroad track that parallels Gregg Street.

Springdale's entire transit system has been revamped with the conversion of one of its three fixed routes to an on-demand transit system. The new system consists of two buses or vans that will operate in the northeast quadrant of the city and downtown, where it will connect with the remaining two fixed routes.

Springdale's transit system will begin offering Saturday service from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

In Rogers, a revised transit system is still in the design and testing phase. It's intended to reincorporate more fixed-route service complemented by the on-demand transit system. Longer Saturday hours are being tested in Rogers and are expected to added in April.

A grant from the Walton Family Foundation is being used to pay for the new services and free fares will remain in place until at least the end of the year.

For more information, go to www.ozark.org for the latest information on specific routes and services.