ASK THE ADVOCATE: CATS’ budget ASK THE ADVOCATE: CATS’ budget Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Capital Area Transit System buses line the terminal at Florida and 22nd streets in 2012. Advocate story Feb. 04, 2013 Comments Since CATS lost the LSU contract in 2009, has CATS sought other contracts with other companies for transport contracts? Has CATS gone to Southern University, the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, summer programs with the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Parks Commission, agencies in the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals, EBR School Board, the diocese school system or the local charter schools to offer transport services for a fee? Response from Brian Marshall, chief executive officer, Capital Area Transit System: CATS has and will continue to seek business from as many sources as possible. We already have agreements with Southern and have been or already are talking with most of the agencies you have listed. Who paid for the four Capital Area Transit System leaders to go to Colorado in February 2012 for a transit convention? What was the total cost, including airport parking, airplane tickets, hotel rooms, food, beverages and seminar fees? Response from Brian Marshall, chief executive officer, Capital Area Transit System: The Southwest Transit Association conference was a staff development opportunity which was paid for from excess funds from what we anticipated from advertising revenue. Four top management people attended with an approximate expense of $8,000. At that conference, the CEO of CATS was elected to the Southwest Transit Association Board of Directors. CATS CEO has persuaded SWTA to hold the next conference in Baton Rouge, bringing over a quarter-million dollars (in estimated total economic impact) to Baton Rouge.