By Arlo Taylor
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A new bus shuttle service launched this month providing those living in the dorms without cars a chance to break the surly bonds of the base and have some fun downtown.
The next shuttle trip set for Sept. 26 picks riders up at the Walters Community Support Center at 5:30 and 6 p.m. headed for stops at McCain Mall in North Little Rock and the River Market in Little Rock. The service picks up patrons from McCain Mall at 9:30 p.m. and the River Market at 10:30 p.m.
Riders must register with the 19th Force Support Squadron’s Information Tickets and Tours office no later than the day before the trip. The cost is $5 per person for the round-trip service.
“We decided to start the shuttle service to offer our airmen a more affordable option [for dorm residents] to get off base and enjoy what North Little Rock and Little Rock have to offer,” said Andrea Hammock, the 19th FSS Information, Tickets and Tours manager. “Advantages to this service are saving money and getting out into the local community, as well as providing an alternative to returning to base safely after a night out. “
Though the service is aimed at Airmen living in base dorms, it is open to all military ID card holders who would like a lift downtown for the nominal fee.
“[We] continuously look for ways to improve the quality of life for our military and their families,” said Monica Young, 19th FSS marketing director. “It is a very economical way to visit McCain Mall or downtown Little Rock.”
Customer feedback, as well as use of the program will be crucial to the service expanding to other areas of the Little Rock Metro area.
“Now that word has started to spread we have received many inquiries and positive feedback on the program,” Hammock said. “[Expanding our route] is definitely a possibility if the locations are popular requests and the service is utilized.
“Unfortunately, if there is no participation for this service, we could potentially not offer it anymore,” she said.
The shuttle service can also be reserved for special occasion treks. A person who books a trips with 20 or more passengers will get their trip fee comped. Trip fees are calculated by the actual cost of the trip divided by the number of guests who attend.
For more information about the shuttle service or other adventures ITT offers, call 987-5105 or visit www.rockinattherock.com.