The River Cities Travel Center opened at 310 E. Capitol Avenue in Little Rock on August 28, 2000. RCTC is the major bus transfer hub for 20 fixed routes and 4 express routes.
CATA’s sales and information office is housed at RCTC, along with supervisory and security staff.
A heated and cooled waiting area, drinking fountains, and public restrooms provide customers with greater comfort as they buy bus passes, get schedule information, and transfer from one bus route to another.
About the Design
The travel center design is the result of researching similar facilities for function, while keeping in mind the unique transportation needs of the Central Arkansas area. Architecturally, the challenge was to provide state-of-the-art facilities that would complement the Quapaw Quarter neighborhood, the Territorial Restoration and the River Market District.
Design themes are reminiscent of 19th-century small-town train stations that are still in evidence across Arkansas. The travel center is viewed as a transition from the historic district to the dynamics of redevelopment along the river.
Designed as a connector from all areas of CATA’s ridership, the location places passengers within a few blocks of the Central Arkansas Library, numerous shops, museums and loft apartments. The River Rail Streetcar and new office towers are within walking distance. The Presidential Library and Heifer International are also a short distance away.
Importance of the River
The river is an important element in the history of travel and commerce in Central Arkansas. Because of its significance, CATA chose to depict the river in the tile of the interior waiting area floor and continue down the entire length of the concourse, terminating at the landmark clock tower to the north.
Integrating public art into the facility without increasing the construction budget is achieved with the colorful tile-patterned band on the exterior walls. Painted steel trusses in the two-story portion of the building are intended to support future artwork suspended from the structure.
Patrons at the transfer site will be there for very brief waiting periods; even so, the environment is pedestrian friendly with plazas, landscaping, a water feature, flags and banners. Public art will be added to plaza areas in the future.
Bus Bay Layout