Metro Council approves $10 million bond for proposed tram system
BATON ROUGE - After a meeting to discuss fueling economic development in Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Metro Council has approved a $10 million bond to fund the tramlinkBR project.
"It's exciting," Councilmember Member Tara Wicker said. "It's an economic engine that will really reform and revitalize that whole community."
The tramlinkBR proposes a 3 mile tracked public transportation system between Louisiana State University and downtown Baton Rouge.
This is the first step needed to get federal government funding for the project.
"I think it was a win-win for the entire city of Baton Rouge," Wicker added.
If federal funding becomes available for the project, the city's bond will be paid with downtown Baton Rouge parking fees. These include parking fines, rates, meters, and garages.
"When it comes to economic development," Councilmember Chauna Banks said, "I would just like all projects to be beneficial to North Baton Rouge, as well as South Baton Rouge."
Not everyone at the meeting was on board with the proposed public transit system.
"That will not serve our community," Diamond Ryan, a concerned citizen who is against the proposal, added. "We don't even have enough transportation and population traveling that highway to sustain a tram."
The $10 million bond is part of a portion of money the city-parish is expected to put against the tram's proposed budget of $170 million. The city-parish is expected to give $34 million.