U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced that the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will be awarded $5.2 million through the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) State of Good Repair Grant Program. The grants will go toward buying new buses and funding other improvement projects.
"Public transportation is essential for accommodating a growing capital city," Sen. Landrieu said. "Many residents rely on the system every day for transportation to work, school, hospital visits and other essential travel. This grant will be a much needed boost for the Capital Area's bus system and help ensure that Baton Rouge and Baker residents can maintain their mobility."
"The State of Good Repairs grant achieves what America wants and needs -- to improve the quality of transportation," Brian Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of CATS said. "Although we did not receive all we asked, we received enough to get us on the road to recovery. We are appreciative of our members of Congress, and especially Senator Landrieu and Congressman Cedric Richmond, for championing this effort. Based on our upcoming expansion, this could not have come at a better time. This money is dedicated for capital goods only and we will put it to good use."
CATS is the regional transit authority of the Baton Rouge metropolitan region, providing mass transit services in East Baton Rouge Parish for a population of 430,317 and within a service area of 296 square miles in the capital region. CATS provides fixed route service, paratransit service for disabled passengers, contractual service to Southern University and seasonal service for special events.
The FTA has the primary responsibility of carrying out the federal mandate of promoting and improving the nation's public transportation system. The State of Good Repair Initiative is part of the FTA's plan to bring the nation's transit infrastructure into the 21st Century. It includes sharing ideas on recapitalization and maintenance issues, asset management practices, and innovative financing strategies. It also includes issues related to measuring the condition of transit capital assets, prioritizing local transit re-investment decisions and preventive maintenance practices.