CATS only making minimal improvements after receiving $11 million from local property tax

POSTED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 7:34pm

CATS busses are running all across the Capitol City, but riders like Roy Mendenhall said he expected more.

“If I’ve got to pay the taxes, I’d like to ride the bus that I'm paying for,” said Mendenhall.

Last April, voters in Baton Rouge and Baker voted for an almost $11 million property tax. At the time, CATS said the money would go toward more bus shelters, more stops, and a functioning GPS system.

Mendenhall says that he hasn’t seen any changes, and local organization Together Baton Rouge agrees.

Together BR played a big part in getting the tax passed and promised to monitor the transit company to see how it's doing. In fact, the group has graded CATS, and those grades are not good.

CATS gets an "F" in customer service due to the lack of a functioning GPS system, another "F" for not installing bus shelters, and a "C" for reducing wait times. However, Together BR did give CATS an "A" for buying new busses to get new routes up and running.

In a statement to NBC33 News, a spokesperson for CATS said:

“As we work to improve the transit system of the Capitol City, we acknowledge the need for public involvement. However, we feel it is imperative that we use caution and accountability in the implementation of our plan.”

It's a plan CATS said would at least be partially in place today - CATS had planned on installing almost a dozen new shelters, but to date, no new shelters have been installed. Mendenhall said is proof that those much needed changes are still a long way down the road.


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