Nine public meetings set in April for 10-year transit plan

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 231 views 

A Razorback baseball game in Fayetteville, Walmart in Springdale and NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville are a few places the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission and its transportation consultant will host a series of meetings to engage the public as it works on a 10-year transit plan for the region.

Work to develop transit plan Connect Northwest Arkansas is expected to be completed in spring 2020 after multiple public meetings to gather input from residents and talks with regional transit providers and planners. Tim Simon, a transportation planner for Alliance Transportation Group of Austin, Texas, started work on the plan Jan. 2 and reached out to area transit providers, including Springdale-based Ozark Regional Transit (ORT) and Fayetteville-based Razorback Transit.

Nine presentations on the plan have been set to take place between April 2 and April 6. The first of which will be April 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Little Rock Trojans baseball game at Baum-Walker Stadium. People can view interactive maps, ask questions and provide comments on the plan. Link here for more upcoming events.

Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission on Dec. 21 hired Alliance Transportation Group to complete the plan. The $279,579 contract for the work will be paid for with federal funding. Work on the plan follows a four-part speaker series hosted in 2017 and 2018 by Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission. The Walton Family Foundation sponsored the series and provided a nearly $80,000 grant for it. Topics of the series included the transit projects that peer regions and neighboring cities have completed, such as bus rapid transit and streetcar service. The transit plan will build on the speaker series and also incorporate other recent plans, such as the report consultant KFH Group completed for ORT on a bus rapid transit study for U.S. Highway 71B, from Bentonville to Fayetteville.