Capital Area Transit System rolls on day after CEO resigns

Brian Marshall
Brian Marshall

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's a bus system that's had more problems than pleasures over the years and Tuesday rolls on without a clear leader.

Brian Marshall resigned as CEO of the Capital Area Transit System commonly referred to as CATS.

Many of Marshall's critics claim he and his management team fell short of the many promises made to voters when trying to get a tax passed to save CATS.

The tax passed in Baton Rouge and Baker, but failed in the Zachary area.

Baton Rouge bus rider Leonard Williams says he uses CATS only when he has too because it is so bad.

"Even new Orleans is better than this transit system," Williams said.

"If they sink the money where it's supposed to be then this could be a better transit system."

In a resignation letter sent to CATS Board Chairman Isaiah Marshall (who is no relation to Brian Marshall), Brian Marshall outlined his tenure with CATS, pointing out some of his successes as well as some of his challenges.

"We appreciate what Brian has done this far for the system," said Isaiah Marshall.

"We respect his decision."

Marshall says no one asked the CATS CEO to step down, nor was he asked to stay.

The CATS board met last week, that meeting would be Marshall's last.  Some who attended that meeting were not happy with Marshall's leadership.  Some there supported the multi-million dollar tax proposal last year, thinking the system would change.  But say they are still faced with late buses and a need for new bus routes.

Employees said they gave up pay raises to support that tax, but were now being asked to give up vacation and sick days in exchange for a raise.

And one person called for Marshall to step down.

"We gave you the money; we haven't gotten anything in return. We need to know where our money is going. I'm looking at a bunch of incompetence, excuses. You're the head so it falls on your shoulders. You need to be removed," said Tony Dunbar, at that meeting.

Following Marshall's resignation, bus rider Gloria Matthews supports some of the changes within the bus system.

"It's just a good system for me," Matthews said.

"I've been riding it so long and depending on it. It's getting better and better."

The CATS governing board will meet Thursday to devise a plan to move forward and find temporary leadership.

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