BATON ROUGE, LA — February 27, 2018 — Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that her administration would not move forward with the TramLinkBR project as initially envisioned. Instead, she will work with CATS and other stakeholders to evaluate cost-effective alternatives to the tram, namely Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT).
“BRT offers similar features to modern streetcars, but at a much lower cost. It is considered a fast, reliable, convenient form of transportation and a proven driver of enhanced economic development,” said Mayor Broome. “We believe that putting our efforts into BRT, as an alternative to the tram along the Nicholson corridor, will provide expansion opportunities and touch a greater part of our community by alleviating some of our traffic and transportation challenges.”
According to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), BRT systems operate in large cities like Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, and are growing in popularity among mid-sized metropolitan areas like Eugene, Oregon, Cleveland, Tulsa and Kansas City, Missouri.
“The vision for the tram was a progressive one, combining transportation with an opportunity for development along the proposed corridor. I am committed to being progressive, but we must be financially prudent with limited transportation dollars, and the BRT model accomplishes both,” said Mayor Broome. “I look forward to working with the FTA, HUD, and other agencies in a continued partnership to deliver enhanced mass transit solutions for Baton Rouge.”
BRT has advanced throughout the U.S. in the last decade as congestion has increased and community leaders have sought affordable transit alternatives. It is an innovative, high-capacity, lower-cost public transit solution that can achieve the performance and benefits of more expensive rail modes.