The long-term cause is chronic underfunding and a lack of dedicated revenue source for transit. CATS is one of the largest transit systems in the country without dedicated fundning The system has also lost $1.1 million in federal assistance CATS is also required by federal law to provide a special disability service along each of its regularly served routes. While this is a federal mandate, it is not federally funded. The number residents using this service sharply rose after Katrina. Each of these paratransit trips costs the agency $28—it costs the rider $4. This has had a significant impact on the system’s budget.
CATS is doing less with more, and running the most efficient system possibly on a its current budget. Other Southern cities—our competitors for economic development, industry, jobs and talent--have dedicated funding sources and contribute significantly more per capita than Baton Rouge… Charlotte is considered the “Cadillac” of transit systems, with light rail build out and
Transit benefits the overall community…
Of the southern cities seen on the last few slides, those comparable to BR in size and geography have significantly less traffic. The correlation between their transit funding and traffic congestion can’t be ignored.
FuturEBR projects traffic congestion will increase to over 70 hours per year in 20 years—and this is taking into consideration all of the
Annual costs for gas per year in Baton Rouge area between 2000 and 2008.
This is how we currently get around Baton Rouge….
One person per vehicle, taking up an entire three lane street. But take that same number of people and put then on bikes and sidewalks….
Suddenly there’s significantly more movement and room to move…
Put them all on a bus, and imagine the impact on traffic.
How are we ensuring this is delivered?
Already CATS has given a very transparent timeline for these improvements
One of the biggest systems in the country not to have one
Recent reductions in federal assistance
Increased disability service after Katrina
Current Funding Includes local taxes, fares and federal funding Source: National Transit Database, 2009 Peer Cities (2009) Per capita funding Atlanta New Orleans Austin Houston Charlotte Knoxville Little Rock Raleigh Memphis Peer City Average Baton Rouge (2009) Baton Rouge (2012) $134 $32 $84 $84 $70 $133 $27 $59 $253 $215 $162 $138
Current Funding High dependence on rider fares for funding Percent of Peer Cities (2009) funding from fares Peer City Average Baton Rouge (2011) 25% 14%
Current Funding 4 measures of financial “efficiency” (output per input) B. R. spends less per unit output than peer cities.
Other cities with dedicated revenue for transit
MORE cities with dedicated revenue for transit
STILL MORE cities with dedicated revenue for transit … No dedicated funding means losing millions in federal match funding and grants.