The Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA) officially transitioned to its new name, Rock Region METRO, this week, implementing a new brand to match the adoption of a new service plan. The most visible aspect of the rebranding initiative can be seen on the fleet’s 15 new compressed natural gas-fueled buses, which will start service Wednesday, Aug. 12. By the end of 2025, the entire Rock Region METRO heavy-duty bus fleet will be replaced with the new CNG-fueled bus models.
“The Rock Region METRO brand reflects the citizen-focused, forward-thinking organization we are,” said Jarod Varner, Rock Region METRO executive director. “We want to weave our brand into every aspect of our business, educating the public about our services while also representing a transit system of which they can be proud.”
The Rock Region METRO brand is one of the major recent outcomes of the Move Central Arkansas project, a comprehensive planning effort involving a variety of stakeholders in public transit. The new brand will support a service plan recently adopted by the Rock Region METRO Board of Directors. The plan focuses on three key areas: service expansion and improvements, comprehensive and consistent branding and exploring funding opportunities to support the former.
In 2014, Rock Region METRO’s Board approved $6.9 million in federal and local funds for the purchase of the 15 new low-floor, clean-fuel CNG buses from Gillig, LLC.
In February this year, Rock Region METRO commenced a $2.3 million CNG station construction project that will significantly reduce fleet fuel costs. Trillium CNG was selected to design, build, operate, and maintain the fueling station. The station will fuel the 15 new natural gas buses and has the ability to fuel up to 55 natural gas buses in an eight-hour period, in readiness for the proposed full-fleet transition to CNG.
(Source: Rock Region METRO)