Baton Rouge: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that LA Swift, a primarily federally funded bus service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge that was initiated after Hurricane Katrina, will be extended one month until July 31, 2013 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 on June 30, 2013, as the 100% 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.
For more information, visit the LA Swift Web site at: http://www.laswift.com/ or call 1-877-94-SWIFT (1-877-947-9438).
DOTD is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate and 13,000 bridges, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email email@example.com, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting http://www.511la.org/
Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).