LA Swift ceases operation July 31, 2013

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that LA Swift, a temporary Hurricane Katrina recovery program, will cease operations on July 31, 2013.

LA Swift is a 100 percent federally funded program until July 31, 2013.

According to DOTD, continuing the service would require around $750,000 per year in local funds to match a federal fund contribution. DOTD says eligible local funding has not been found.

The service was scheduled to end June 30, but was extended through the use of under-run federal funds from the LA Swift program.

The program created in response to the hurricane, was a temporary option for affected citizens to travel between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It began on October 31, 2005, and was previously run with a combination of funding through a Federal Transit Association (FTA) grant and a $5 passenger charge per one-way trip.

While an increase in fares would offset the operating cost, FTA regulations do not allow those revenues to be applied toward the required local match; consequently, regardless of any reasonable fare increase, local funds would still be required for the match.

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