CATS to introduce trolley service between Garden District and Downtown

CATS to introduce trolley service between Garden District and Downtown

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Capital Area Transit System, or CATS, is putting the final touches to three of the major new routes they're planning to unveil in November.

Twice a year, in May and November, CATS reveals their new routes. On Nov. 30, the goal is to provide transportation for the LSU area and the Garden District.

CATS CEO Bob Marabito said they have four trolleys that are currently used downtown.

"They're used between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, so to use those assets a little more efficiently, we're going to introduce that as a service between downtown and the Garden District," said Marabito. "The Garden District is obviously a part of the folks that are paying the property tax to support CATS."

Marabito said during the weekdays, in 30 min intervals, those idle trolleys will run from Town Square and other downtown locations to multiple stops in the Garden District during the morning and evening rush hours. The specific routes, hours, and fares have not been determined just yet. Instead, three public meetings are scheduled in October to get input from people living in the Garden District on which stops and routes would be the most beneficial.

Garden District Civic Association President Eric Troutman said the idea was initiated by CATS and they're welcoming it.

"It makes the Garden District even more attractive because they'll know there's a transportation option. For many neighbors coming in from bigger cities, they're used to having this luxury and it's something that'll catch the Garden District and Baton Rouge up to speed," said Troutman.

Two other routes CATS plans to roll out in November are between downtown and Nicholson Dr. and between LSU and the main CATS terminal on Florida Boulevard.

Marabito said currently, CATS does not have any bus service on Nicholson Drive. The proposed bus service will run between downtown, through Nicholson, Burbank Drive and Brightside Drive.  He added it would go past PM and run all week.

The third service will be called the "LSU Express" and run during the weekdays between LSU and the main CATS terminal on Florida without any stops.

The goal is to start all three routs on Nov. 30.

The Garden District route still needs to be finalized. Once those plans are finalized, they will be presented to the CATS Board of Commissioners on Oct. 21. Once they approve it, the routes will go before the East Baton Rouge Metro Council on Oct. 22.

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