BATON ROUGE, La – Regular riders of LA Swift, the free bus service that transports displaced residents between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will notice some changes beginning Friday, Dec. 1.
As of this date, LA Swift will no longer offer express trips. All trips will now stop in Sorrento, LaPlace or both.
Additional stops will be added in Baton Rouge, on Florida at 13th Street at the CATS stop in front of the Greyhound terminal, and in New Orleans, on Loyola Avenue at Howard Avenue, at the RTA stop in front of the Union Passenger Terminal.
DOTD now will contract directly with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority to provide buses and drivers.
Funding now will come directly from DOTD, which is using approximately $2 million in allotted Federal Transit Authority (FTA) funds. That money usually helps rural communities with start-up costs for new transit systems, but the FTA recently gave DOTD permission to use the accumulated funds to continue LA Swift. The funds had accumulated because the few parishes without transit systems either have no plans or not enough matching funds to start a system.
Revised schedules are available on www.laswift.com. DOTD’s Customer Service Center is also available at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
LA Swift began on Oct. 31, 2005. Since then, its ridership has grown steadily to average between 900 and 1,000 rides a day.