Bill would require training of bus system leaders

A measure that would require board and commission members of public transit systems to receive training easily passed Monday its final hurdle before heading to the Louisiana House floor for a final vote.

The House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works approved without objection Senate Bill 310, which mandates that the volunteer board members receive and complete at least six hours of annual training no later than one year of taking office.

Failure to complete the training hours will result in the removal of the member.

SB310 would apply only to board members appointed after Jan. 1, 2015.

State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, said training sessions are already available free of charge online and through the regional transportation groups. “Regardless of the fact that its mostly volunteer boards, it’s still important and significant to have training to build their frame of regerence,” she said.

In an interview after the hearing, Broome said the bill was inspired by Baton Rouge’s Capital Area Transit System — which in the past year faced a variety of scandals ranging from reports of missing farebox revenues and the arrest of a board member for stealing funds from the agency to pay his personal bills.