The Capital Area Transit System has proven to be a critical economic driver for greater Baton Rouge, and with new capital projects and improvements, the next ten years could bring vital economic opportunity to the region, which will only be possible with the renewal of CATS’ local dedicated funding source on fall ballots.
All transit systems like CATS rely on some form of locally generated revenue to support operations. Since the millage was adopted in 2012, CATS has made great strides to uphold its promise to residents of Baton Rouge and Baker by serving as an integral community partner and economic driver.
Residents rely on CATS services, and the agency provides critical workforce mobility by servicing connections to over 225,000 jobs across the system. As the economy rebounds from the pandemic, it is important now that riders who rely on the system to get to work have a reliable transit service, as 91% of CATS customers have no other transportation option.
A recent economic impact study found that the agency is expected to generate a total economic impact of $1.6 billion over the next ten years by drawing down matching federal funding that gets circulated into the Baton Rouge economy. This funding is not available without CATS’ existence.
Additionally, for every $1 of local revenue that is invested in CATS it results in $7.40 of economic return-on-investment.
CATS is an essential partner in the development of the state’s first bus rapid transit service. Without local funding and matched federal dollars, the bus rapid transit project will be halted.
A vote to renew this millage is a vote supporting economic development and jobs for greater Baton Rouge. Without this renewal, CATS’s future and the impact on our local economy, are in jeopardy.