CATS looking to improve bus routes, asking for public’s help for challenges they face

The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is looking to make improvements to its bus routes, but they need your help.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:05 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is looking to make improvements to its bus routes, but they need your help. They’re asking you to share your challenges or maybe reasons preventing you from taking the bus.

“My parents had nine kids and we all traveled everywhere on public transportation,” said Alonzo Campbell.

Growing up using the transit system, Campbell understands the struggles of riding the bus.

“Some bus riders literally have to stand in ditches in Baton Rouge with their kids in order to ride the bus”, said Campbell.

Campbell isn’t the only one.

There are more than 100,000 people in Baton Rouge taking the bus each month according to the Capital Area Transit System.

Now, the folks over at CATS are asking people like Campbell to share their experiences riding the bus in an effort to make improvements.

CATS Interim CEO Theo Richards said they’re hosting in-person listening sessions and have an online survey to better understand what people need.

“All stakeholders, citizens, residents to go and participate and give us your feedback. The good, the bad, and the ugly because it’ll give us the opportunity to grow the system and make it what the community truly needs,” said Richards.

Improvements Scott Hendon believes should be focused on, “walk mobility, focused around sidewalks and safety. Honestly safety has been a very big thing.”

Richards said the study is just the first step in making traveling around the city easier

“Break down barriers of access whether that be going to hospitals, employment or leisure,” said Richards. “The role that we have and responsibility is incredible and its feedback that gives us an opportunity to better customize as we continue to grow.”

Opportunities to grow is what Hendon is looking forward to.

“It’s very important that we focus on what’s the best transit options for Baton Rouge to finally catch up to what the rest of the country is doing,” said Hendon.

Campbell is optimistic the study will lead to a better experience getting around town.

“Bus riders need to stop hearing that Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish is for drivers not for bus riders. That slogan needs to die,” said Campbell.

If you want to give your feedback, you still have time.

The survey is online until October 6. Click here for the survey.

Richards said they plan on hosting more listening sessions in the spring.

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