BATON ROUGE, LA — Wednesday, April 1, 2020 — The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will temporarily restructure its daily fixed-route service beginning Sunday, April 5, 2020, in response to the ongoing Stay at Home order from Governor John Bel Edwards. The continued service is in recognition of the US Homeland Security and State of Louisiana mandated COVID-19 designation of mass transit as an essential service.
“We transport employees to and from their essential jobs, including healthcare workers and grocery store employees,” said CATS CEO Bill Deville. “We also take our customers to medical facilities, shopping for essential grocery items, and to check on their family members.”
CATS will continue to provide service at a temporarily reduced schedule to ensure the community still has access to critical and lifesaving services in the community. This continuation will also work to promote economic stability over the coming months for the capital city.
Daily service will continue on virtually all routes from approximately 5:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This is an increase in Saturday service, which reflects the need to transport workers in critical industries. Service to several hospitals and medical facilities, served by Route 60 Medical Circulator, will increase.
A new service design linking Route 44 Florida directly with Route 58 Coursey Boulevard and Route 59 East Florida Boulevard provides a one-seat ride from the CATS Terminal to Ochsner Hospital. This new schedule maximizes opportunities to connect with other CATS routes.
Sunday service will operate on virtually all routes with a reduced span of service, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.
Several routes are being suspended in this service reduction as a result of COVID-19. Routes not in operation include Route 16 Capitol Park Shuttle (the downtown area will be served by Routes 22 and 44) Route 72 Florida Limited (stops will be served by Route 44) and Route 80 Southern University Shuttle (service suspended due to university closure).
Detailed information on each route and its schedule can be found here.
CATS On Demand, the agency’s ADA paratransit service, will not be affected during this service reduction and will continue to operate at regular service levels.
CATS has waived fares for all trips to lessen interactions between operators and customers. Customers are asked to enter and exit the vehicle from the rear/side door. Mobility-impaired customers will continue to enter and exit at the front door via wheelchair lift.
Social distancing has been implemented on all CATS vehicles, and there is limited seating available. The maximum capacity for each vehicle is 10.
More information on CATS services and efforts during COVID-19 can be found on the CATS website or by calling the CATS Customer Care Center at 225.389.8282. Updates are shared on CATS social media channels: Facebook – CATSBR, Twitter – @btrcats, and Instagram – @btr_cats.