Baton Rouge, La — DOTD has announced that LA Swift, the bus service that runs between New Orleans and Baton Rouge that was initiated after Hurricane Katrina, will be extended one month until July 31 to allow local entities the opportunity to formalize a plan for their takeover of this local transit service.
The program was created as a temporary option for affected citizens to travel between New Orleans and Baton Rouge as they recovered from Hurricane Katrina, and was slated for closure at the end of June as the 100 percent federal funding for the program ends.
DOTD will utilize under-run funds to extend service for the additional month.
Local entities are exploring options to provide the approximate $750,000 per year in local funds to match a decreased federal fund contribution. At this time, local entities have not identified funding to subsidize the service.
The LA Swift Service began on Oct. 31, 2005. The service was previously run with a combination of funding through a Federal Transit Association (FTA) grant and a $5 passenger charge per one-way trip. Approximately 200 individuals utilize this service on a daily basis.
While an increase in fares would offset the operating cost, FTA regulations do not allow those revenues to be applied toward the required local match; consequently, regardless of any reasonable fare increase, local funds would still be required.