There could be an almost 19% increase in Capital Area Transit System accessibility for Baton Rouge residents if the Metro Council passes CATS’ service improvement plan, expected to cost $400,000 over the next two years. Wider transit access—which by CATS’ math would reach an additional 43,700 potential riders—would come from the restructuring of 12 routes, as well as extended service to apartment complexes and low-income housing. Also, a newly created route would service Glen Oaks, Zion City and Scotlandville, while another would serve Blount Road and Plank Road north of Harding. The money would come from the agency’s budget, comprised of federal grants and local funding, says Amie McNaylor, CATS communications director, and will not require additional funding. And phase one, slated to begin in January 2019, is “cost-neutral.” McNaylor says CATS has been discussing improvements and taking passenger and stakeholder feedback since its 2014 service expansion, when the agency altered 20 routes and added 10 more using five transit hubs to shorten rider times and improve efficiency. Once complete, 80% of CATS routes will operate at 30 minutes or less during rush hours in the morning and afternoon. The changes will also bring more routes closer to the entire… Read full this story
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