By REBEKAH ALLEN
Advocate staff writer
August 21, 2012
Six new white CATS buses are circling the parish roads.
The new, 35-foot buses arrived about a week ago, said Brian Marshall, Capital Area Transit System chief administrative officer.
He said the white buses are not an intentional redesign. They just haven’t been painted like the other buses yet.
But he said he’s not sure if they will be painted.
The buses were ordered about a year ago, Marshall said. They were $330,000 each, and paid for entirely by a federal grant.
The new vehicles bring CATS’ total fleet to 62 buses.
He said the addition of new buses helps CATS’ overall reliability, because it gives a break to some of the older buses.
In July, CATS was awarded a $5.2 million federal grant which will purchase 12 more 35-foot buses and 15 large vans.
Marshall said the vans will be ready by the end of this year, and the 12 buses will be ready next year.
The new buses will help CATS as it begins working to expand bus routes and improve the overall quality of service, Marshall said. The route expansions and other improvements were made possible by the 10.6-mill property tax approved by Baton Rouge and Baker voters in April.
CATS officials said the tax will reduce wait times from an average of 75 minutes to 15 minutes during peak hours.