BATON ROUGE,LA (NBC33) — "It'd be bad, probably lose my job," says CATS bus rider Brian Mumphery.
Brian Mumphery's only way of getting to his restaurant job may soon go out of business. CATS, the Capitol Area's transit system, is facing a budget deficit of more than two million dollars. If a solution isn't found they won't make it past July. "You got certain people that need the bus system to get back and forth to work. Are you one of those people? Yes, sir," says Mumphery.
If CATS can't manage to find the cash, the only other option would be to shrink the bus system's service by almost 50%. CATS Board member Jared Loftus says that really isn't an option at all,"A 46% cut, to be able to work within the budget we have now is effectively a useless system and so to make those cuts so that we could run throughout the whole year doesn't make any sense."
So how did CATS get into this financial mess in the first place? "Some of the funding that we normally get is running out. It sunsets. Contracts that we've had in the past that aren't getting renewed that we won't have moving forward. It just won't allow us to continnue the type of service that we've had in the past," says Loftus.
CATS riders know that if that happens those people who need the bus the most won't be able to survive. "Lot of people need to go pay bills. Lot of people need to get back and forth to the doctor," says Mumphery.