The Center for Planning Excellence is pleased to learn the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has announced a one-month extension of the LA SWIFT bus service to allow local groups the opportunity to formalize a plan for the takeover of the local transit service, continuing the service through July 31.
Click here to read the article from The Advocate.
DOTD previously announced the service would end on June 30. After learning LA SWIFT was slated to cease operation, CPEX, along with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and CONNECT Coalition partners, began working toward solutions to save this valuable service.
CPEX helped identify and secure commitments for the resources needed to meet federal requirements for a local match. Thanks to CATS, the Mayor of Kenner, and other media sponsors for contributing in-kind match amounts that help close the gap. In-kind services will provide a revenue-neutral solution to keep the federal funding in place. This impressive collective effort of diverse stakeholders represents widespread support for the LA SWIFT service and increased regional connectivity in general.
LA SWIFT serves nearly 12,000 riders each month who rely on the service to reach destinations between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
A survey conducted by CPEX, Ride New Orleans and AARP showed that LA SWIFT is important for several reasons:
51% of the ridership depends on the service to get to and from work
14% rely on the service to access healthcare
Daily commutes between New Orleans and Baton Rouge – in both directions – are increasing steadily
Click here to see the full survey.
A recent study by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center showed in 2010, more than 26,000 workers commuted on a daily basis from the Baton Rouge metro to the New Orleans metro, while an additional 22,000 workers commuted in the opposite direction, making our super region a place where “labor is pooled, and innovation and production is concentrated.”
In order to promote growth and the economic health of the super region and our state, we must commit to preserving and expanding connectivity between homes, job centers and essential services. We are thrilled to be a part of preserving this critical transit option!