BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The trolley system in Baton Rouge has come under fire recently with critical comments from politicians and a declining number of riders. Before ditching the program, CATS wants to give the riders another chance to see its benefits.
The Red Stick Trolley, formally known as the Garden District Trolley, has been in operation for just under two years. However, the ridership saw a minor spike, but then declined in recent months. To attract new riders, CATS is hosting its first Ride and Learn event on Saturday, April 16.
"We hope that this is a fun and educational time for you and your families," a CATS representative said in an announcement about the event.
The Ride and Learn event is free and will begin at 9 a.m. at the City-Brooks Park in Mid City.
"We will have a little sign-in table and people can gather in the grassy area near Magnolia Street (on the other side of the tennis courts)," CATS explains. "BREC has been very gracious in letting us use City-Brooks Park as a starting place for this event and we appreciate that."
The hope is to show people the benefit of the trolley system for free and by giving them an opportunity to test it on a day when their schedule is more relaxed.
"A CATS representative will be riding with you to explain the route and how to buy tickets and answer any questions you have," CATS noted. "We'll drop off near the Farmer's market, stay for 30 minutes and then load the Trolley and head back to City Park."
Recently Congressman Garret Graves had harsh criticism for the trolley system. He told a reporter for the Business Report that the CATS bus system is "a disaster" and that it "should be blown up and we should start over."