CATS rider, CEO Bob Mirabito's harshest critic, a contender for bus system board seat _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- CATS buses are parked in the terminal Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.

The Capital Area Transit System is having its first public meeting today to answer questions about the proposal to remove two routes with low ridership — the O’Neal Park and Ride and the Downtown to the Mall of Louisiana Express routes.

Leaders with the agency announced Wednesday that the savings from those two underused routes will be applied toward other routes which will enjoy improved service.

These routes include Route 12 – Government Street/Jefferson Hwy, Route 17 – Perkins Road/Mall of Louisiana, Route 47 – Highland Rd., Route 54 – Airline Highway North/Southern University and Route 80 – Southern University Circulator.

CATS will also expand the Downtown Airport Express from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., which will allow it to be more useful both to employees who work near the airport and also business travelers.

CATS is also planning to roll out the following changes:

  • Route 16 – Capitol Park Shuttle: Improve actual headway from approximately 40 minutes to 30 minutes
  • Route 18 – LSU/Cortana Mall: Minor schedule change to improve on-time performance
  • Route 44 – Florida Boulevard: Reroute downtown to be more direct and reroute into Cortana Mall to serve more stops and run faster.
  • Route 70 – Baker Limited: Reroute at mini-dome to avoid nonexistent road and unsuitable section of roadway
  • Route 72 – Florida Boulevard Limited: Reroute downtown for faster and more efficient service

The public hearing today is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bluebonnet Library. There will be another one Oct. 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Forest Community Park.

Route changes will ultimately have to be approved by the Baton Rouge Metro Council.

MORE COVERAGE:

– Struggling to attract new riders, CATS proposes route cuts

– CATS tweaking service in bid to improve