POSTED: Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 8:14pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 2:37pm
BATON ROUGE,LA (NBC33) — The Capital Area Transit System riders got their first chance to try out the bus system’s revamped routes Sunday.
“We got on the wrong bus, because we didn't know the bus schedule. We were going by the old schedule not knowing they were starting the new schedule today,” Tim Cooper, bus rider, said.
Some riders saw it as a chance to explore.
"We're just checking out the new bus system,” Cooper said. “I guess the new routes and all the new times. "
"I took the bus to see if it was like the map, and it was,” Kristie Bailey, bus rider, said. “It's a nice route to get passengers closer to home."
One major change is the use of more transfer hubs. Now the busses won't all come in from the main terminal on Florida.
Instead, they'll come from other hub stations around the area.
“In addition to the terminal we are now using Earl K. Long, Cortana Mall, Mall of Louisiana and here at town square,” Bob Mirabito, CATS CEO, said.
Some riders say they like having new hubs stations.
"We got off one bus at the terminal and took the Florida bus that took us straight down here,” Cooper described. “I didn't have to wait for the bus to go into the terminal and leave out and all that so that made it a lot faster to come downtown."
CATS workers spent time handing out route maps and schedules to make sure riders knew how to get where they needed to go.
Riders say they hope the new routes will quicken their travel across the city.
"I kind of like it,” Elishae Robins, bus rider, stated. “I think it's faster because this morning, I got on a bus at Plank Road and they had two (buses) back to back.”
The new routes and busses are something CATS riders have waited for ever since the CATS tax was passed back in 2012.
Mirabito said Sunday, “I think we have some bumps, but I think it’s better than expected. This is a massive undertaking for CATS and as I’ve said we are going to get better day by day.”
For the first week during the transition, bus rides are free!
Click here  for a look at the new routes.