LOCAL

LA Swift to cease operations June 30

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that LA Swift, a primarily federally funded bus service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge that was initiated after Hurricane Katrina, will cease operations on June 30, 2013 when the federal funding for the program ends.

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.

To continue this localized service past June 30 would require an approximate $750,000 per year in local funds to match a decreased federal fund contribution. At this time, local entities have not identified funding to subsidize the service.

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.

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; consequently, regardless of any reasonable fare increase, local funds would still be required.