Riders Rally at CATS to save Public Transit

Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 5:03pm

The dozens of people at Wednesday's rally say supporting the CATS Property Tax doesn't just benefit them, but it's critical to seeing the capital city grow.

"With no bus system at all, no cats, I would hardly be able to get any place without walking, and Baton Rouge is not a pedestrian friendly town," said William Stoner, a rider of CATS for over 32 years.

Stoner says having the busses stop when the money runs out is the worst case scenario.

"That means I would not be able to get to many places in Baton Rouge," he said.

The supporters say they've heard countless reasons for people against the tax. They have a strong message who say they won't pay the tax because they don't use the bus.

"You're going to be spending 70 hours in traffic otherwise, think about it  how bad the traffic is now with the bus system, imagine how bad it could be with everyone on the road," said Jamison Taylor, a recent college graduate.

The tax would bring tens of millions of dollars to the Capital Area Transit System. That's money Stoner says should have been in CATS’ bank account a long time ago.

"Even a place like Gretna has a dedicated source of funding," said Stoner.

Other riders agree.

"At this point we need as much help as we can get. Our system is starting to crumble, and if we can’t keep a bus system running, how are we going to keep everything else and bring other businesses into the city?” said Taylor.

CATS Officials and these supporters say this Property Tax could be the last chance for riders and the parish.

Soon, it'll simply be too late.

"Right now it doesn't seem like a big deal, but every little thing is going to add up and count, and even though it doesn't affect you now, it will affect you later," said Taylor.

Something Stoner says won't take long for people all across the parish to realize.

"I do not want to see this system die on April 21st."

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