Million Dollar transit system to get rolling by year’s end say transit authorities

June 28, 2007 at 9:52 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Million Dollar transit system to get rolling by year’s end say transit authorities
Residents expecting the new transit service through St. Charles and St. John parishes to arrive this summer will have to look for a another ride as the River Parishes Transit Authority isn’t expected to get the service running until near the end of the year.

Martha Cauzabon, Senior Planner for the South Central Planning Commission said they are still waiting on funds to get the $1 million busline rolling.

“We’re waiting word on some grants that we’ve applied for that will help us acquire the buses,” Cauzabon said. “The plan hinges on having the grants approved.”

Once the grants have been approved then the RPTA can begin to purchase buses and tie up the necessary loose ends before going full steam into the local transit system.

The grants provide for different necessities that the RPTA will need to get the bus line on the road, Cauzabon said.

“All of the grants come from transit authority money,” she said. “Some pay for operating expenses, some pay for maintenance and upkeep.”

The United Way of St. Charles Parish has pledged $150,000 to assist with start up costs and both St. Charles and St. John Parishes will contribute $125,000 annually to keep the system up and running.

Right now though, it’s all up to the government as to when they can get rolling, Cauzabon said.

The service is expected to operate as a “Hybrid Demand Response Service” that would use 15-20 passenger buses similar to the vehicles used for airport shuttles, according to transit authority member Brent Petit.

Both parishes will be split into zones with a certain bus assigned to patrol each zone. Connecting routes between zones would allow someone from the furthest point of St. Charles to reach the furthest point of St. John in about two hours.

“Once they [RPTA] they get words on the grant and they know for sure what’s coming in then they will be able to order the buses,” she said.

View other articles written Caleb Frey

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