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CATS riders say changes aren't coming quickly enough

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:34pm

"I've been to systems all through the United States. This is the most unproductive system I've ever seen," says Heyward Richard

Richard uses the Capital Area Transit System every day to get to work. He says changes are needed to make CATS run more efficiently. Voters approved a tax in April that, along with other money, was expected to give it $30 million to make badly needed improvements.

"We may not be able to provide all of the pieces all in January 2014 if we don't have the money to pay for those changes. It's a matter of being fiscally responsible,” says CATS Board President Jared Loftus.

But because Zachary voted down the tax and because of other money that probably won't be coming in, that total has dipped to around $24 or 25 million. This means CATS may have to reduce services like the amount of limited stop routes. This would be a big mistake says Edgar Cage from Together Baton Rouge.

"We want to work with them to come up with other solutions on how we can make this the best transit system we can for the dollars that we have, for the citizens of Baton Rouge and Baker," says Cage.

Together Baton Rouge is in charge of making sure CATS performs all the service improvements necessary in a timely manner. But because of the depletion in funds, they say if the changes take a little longer than expected that's OK with them.

"They could fall short of the delivery date, but still deliver the service improvements sometime later. So, as long as we get the service improvements delivered that's the most important thing.

"They need to make some changes," says Richard.

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