The East Baton Rouge Parish bus system will offer LSU football fans a game-day bus ride connecting them from downtown to the LSU campus beginning Saturday.

Capital Area Transit System CEO Brian Marshall said the Touchdown Express Service will encourage economic development downtown and provide safe transportation for game-day drinkers.

“On game day, you can take the shuttle and enjoy the game without having to deal with traffic and parking hassles,” Marshall said.

The shuttle service begins four hours before kickoff on Saturdays when LSU has a home football game and will continue one hour after the game.

The buses will run every 15 minutes with two downtown stops: in front of Hotel Indigo at Lafayette and Convention streets, and where Florida Boulevard intersects with the Interstate 110 underpass, which has 300 free parking spots.

The shuttle costs $1.75 one-way or $3.50 round trip or a receipt from any downtown restaurant or bar the day of the game will serve as a free shuttle voucher.

Up to four family members can ride for free on one receipt.

“This partnership between CATS and LSU is not only about moving fans to and from Tiger Stadium, it’s also about making Baton Rouge work,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said Tuesday morning outside of Hotel Indigo. “The partnership helps traffic and economic development.”

Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District, said he hopes the spirit of LSU tailgating will make its way downtown before football games.

“Come down before the game, get something to eat, listen to a band, and then catch the shuttle right here,” Rhorer said. “It can be part of the experience beforehand.”

The shuttle also provides an alternative to drinking alcohol and driving on game days.

“This will promote safety for a number of people, so you don’t have to drink and drive,” Holden said. “We can get you to the game safely or get you away from the game safely, and that’s very important.”

Last year, CATS offered the game-day shuttle at the Catholic Life Center on Acadian Thruway, the intersection of Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway, and Galvez Plaza downtown.

The buses were generally 50 percent to 75 percent full, Marshall said, carrying about 10,000 people during the football season.

But, Marshall said, this year CATS would focus its efforts on downtown.

LSU has about 30,000 parking spaces for cars and 700 to 800 spaces for motor homes, including grass lots and street parking to accommodate the more than 92,000 ticket holders.