CATS Proposal for Comprehensive Transit Reform
I. Service Improvements
- Decrease wait times between buses from the current average of 75 minutes to 15 minutes (at peak hours)
- Build 3 new transfer centers to replace "spoke" system with "grid" system
- Overhaul bus stops, with new shelters and benches
- Overhaul all signage for transit stops, providing detailed route and time information
- Add GPS tracking to fleet, with exact arrival times accessible on cell phones
- Increase service from 19 to 37 routes, including high-demand areas that currently are not served (eg. O'Neal Lane, Coursey Blvd., Essen and Siegen Lane)
- Increase peak-hour buses from 32 to 57.
- Create eight new express and limited stop lines:
- Southern University to Downtown
- Airport to Downtown
- O'Neal Lane to downtown
- Mall of Louisiana to Downtown
- Highland / I-110 to Downtown
Limited Stop Routes
- Baker/Zachary, through Southern University, to Cats Terminal
- Florida Blvd to Downtown
- LSU to Downtown
- Lay foundation for Bus Rapid Transit system
II. Governance Reform
- Support new criteria for CATS board members, following recommendations of Blue Ribbon Commission.
- Support legislation to create true accountability for CATS board, in line with board best practices nationally (removing Metro Council from operational decisions about routes and fares)
- Adhere to and publicize concrete benchmarks and timeline of deliverables for service improvement.
Election Date: April 21st, 2012
Municipalities Included: Baker, Baton Rouge & Zachary
- Each election is held separately. Success or failure in any municipality does not affect other elections.
SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT CATS PROPOSAL
WHAT: The Capital Area Transportation Authority, a state agency, has proposed a 10-year, 10.6-mill property tax on all homes and businesses in the city limits of Baton Rouge, Baker, and Zachary.
The tax would raise an estimated $18.4 million a year from property owners, for a total of $18,400,000 over the 10 years. CATS already has about $12 million in revenue.
So this would increase their revenue to more than $30 million a year.
The 10.6-mill property tax means that ALL homeowners would pay about 1% of the value of their homes in taxes each year, just to support the Baton Rouge bus system. Businesses would pay about 1.5% of the value of their businesses each year.
The homestead exemption does not apply to this proposed property tax. For a home valued at $300,000, the tax would be over $300 a year, or more than $25 a month.
WHEN: The tax will be voted on at a special election scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2012.
WHO: All voters inside the city limits of Baton Rouge, Baker, and Zachary will get to vote, including those who do not own property. Voters outside the city limits will not be allowed to vote. So, voters in Central and the unincorporated areas of the parish will not vote. The industrial areas along the river, such as Exxon, would not have to pay the tax.
TAXBUSTERS of Baton Rouge is opposing the tax and will provide information to voters on Facebook and on its website, www.taxbusters.us.
CATS TAX FACTS
Special Election: Saturday, April 21st
CATS Property Tax
· Residential INCREASES 13-20% for 10 years!
· Commercial INCREASES 12-14% for 10 years!