CATS routes don't service new Women's Hospital location

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, recently questioned the planning processes going on at the Capital Area Transit System and how what she calls a lack of planning may jeopardize low income citizens trying to receive medical care.

CATS, as it's commonly called, recently came under fire for announcing plans to make changes to services and upgrades promised, before voters approved a tax to save the system.

The woman questions CATS lack of planning to ensure routes would cover the new Woman's Hospital Location of Airline Highway near the edge of the parish.

The woman, recently had surgery scheduled at one of the clinics which recently re-located to the new Woman's location.

She was surprised to learn that the new location wasn't served by public transportation.

"This is not something extraordinary that somebody would be asking for," the woman said. "They have models all over the state. You can go to most of the clinics in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and there's public transportation access to almost each of those clinics- why not this one?"

CATS officials admit there could eventually be a problem, but say they haven't heard of enough demand just yet.

"I think that's part of the public process," said Brian Marshall, CEO of CATS. "I think we want to hear the public's response to that."

The woman who we interviewed says she took a cab to the new location for her clinic which cost around $15 each way. She says if someone has several appointments to attend, that could get costly.

"My thing is this is not going to change, these are multimillion dollar moves- nobody is going to move a clinic back because of certain patients," the woman said.

CATS officials say adding the new hospital location to its routes is something that is on their radar.

"Would we like to serve it? Certainly we would," Marshall said. "We want to serve every area that actually needs service."

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