- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Capital Area Transit System board of directors has approved a $27.7 million annual budget for 2015 that lays out continued plans for expansion the bus system has in store for the upcoming year.

The projected revenues for 2015 are up 12 percent over this year’s budget, thanks in large part to a projected boost of $1.6 million in the dedicated property tax revenue. The property tax, estimated to generate $17.3 million for 2015, was approved in 2012 by voters to breathe life into the bare-bones agency which always seemed to be on the verge of financial collapse.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1uSkKWl ) the agency is increasing its operations budget by 13 percent to $12.7 million. The increased spending will in part provide for 25 additional bus operators and mechanics to support the route expansion and other planned improvements.

The agency also plans on buying five replacement buses, at a total cost of $410,000 each, with a federal grant covering 85 percent of those costs, as well as 10 previously owned replacement buses. CATS is purchasing seven new vans for para-transit service, which is door-to-door pickup for disabled riders.

CATS is increasing its administrative budget by 13 percent to $2.6 million.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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