LA Swift service extended for one month
BATON ROUGE - LA Swift, a bus service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans will be extended by a month until July 31.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development made the announcement today.
The extra month is to allow local groups to put together a plan to take over the 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 the decreased federal fund contribution. No funding has yet been identified.
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. So regardless of any fare increase, local funds would still be required.