Capital Area Transit System

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Capital Area Transit System
Capital Area Transit System Logo--Baton Rouge, LA.jpg
Slogan Moving Baton Rouge Forward
Headquarters 2250 Florida Blvd
Locale Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Service area East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
Service type Bus service
Routes 30
Hubs 5
Fuel type Diesel

Capital Area Transit System, labeling itself CATS, is a public transportation provider in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. It serves the city and several west bank suburbs[citation needed], but does not travel outside parish boundaries or across the Mississippi River.


CTC bus stop pylon featuring modern CATS sign.

Originally formed as the Capital Transit Corporation by the City of Baton Rouge, the system came to be known as the Capital Area Transit System in 2004 during a re-branding of the agency.[1] CATS was later defined by an act of the Louisiana Legislature in 2005.[2] The act established the transit agency and dictates its governance but did not create any revenue source for CATS. Ballot measures to create tax revenue for the system failed to pass in 2009 and 2010, and attempts to reduce service further and increase fares were rejected by the Metro Council, leaving CATS facing a budget shortfall that would have resulted in a complete system shutdown by midyear 2012.[3] CATS finally found stable funding that same year and avoided shutdown when voters in the cities of Baton Rouge and Baker approved a property tax increase.[4]


The agency is often criticised as providing unreliable service, with delays of an hour or more common. Although CATS has worked to address this issue, proponents of the system have voiced concerns that progress has been slow and some changes lacked proper planning.[5]

Louisiana State University created its own shuttle service, Tiger Trails, in 2008 due to complaints rising from CATS's service to and from the campus.

Brian Marshall resigned as CEO on April 22, 2013 due to controversies surrounding the agency.[6]


Below is the new, expanded route list effective March 30, 2014.[7] Routes are anchored around one at least one of five hubs: the Town Square hub, located on North St. near City Hall¹, Cortana Mall, the former Earl K. Long Medical Center, the Mall of Louisiana, and the CATS Terminal at the corner of N. 22nd and Florida streets.[8] Most, but not all, routes connect two hubs together to allow for cross-town connectivity.

  • 8 - Gus Young
  • 10 - Scenic Hwy. - Southern University
  • 11 - Northside Circulator
  • 12 - Government St. and Jefferson Hwy.
  • 14 - Thomas Delpit Drive
  • 16 - Downtown Trolley
  • 17 - Perkins Road
  • 18 - LSU to Cortana Mall
  • 20 - North Acadian Thruway
  • 21 - Fairfields Avenue
  • 22 - Winbourne Avenue
  • 23 - Foster Drive
  • 41 - Plank Road
  • 44 - Florida Boulevard and Cortana Mall
  • 46 - Gardere-OLOL-L'Auberge
  • 47 - Highland Road
  • 50 - GlenOaks- Greendale Circulator
  • 52 - Baker Circulator
  • 54 - Airline Hwy. North - Southern University
  • 55 - East Florida Blvd.
  • 56 - Mall to Mall via Drusilla Ln.
  • 57 - Sherwood Forest Blvd.
  • 58 - Coursey Blvd. and O'Neal Ln.
  • 59 - East Florida Blvd. to O'Neal Ln.
  • 60 - Medical Corridor
  • 70 - Baker Limited Stops
  • 72 - Florida Blvd. Limited Stops
  • 80 - Southern University Shuttles
  • 103 - Airport Express

¹Most routes utilizing the North Street Town Square hub currently stop at the corner in front of the Old State Capitol just before the North Street Transit Pavilion due to congestion caused by bus layovers at the stop.[9]

CATS OnDemand[edit]

The buses that operate CATS fixed routes are equipped to accommodate most riders with disabilities. For riders whose disability prevents them from using the standard routes at all, CATS provides the OnDemand paratransit service. An application process must be followed prior to using the service, and all start and end points must be within 3/4 mile of the CATS service area. Paratransit customers pay the same $1.75 fare.[10]


The standard fare for all CATS routes is $1.75 which is payable in cash when boarding the bus. Riders may request a transfer to different routes for an additional $0.25 (not for use on initiating line; must pay every use within 2 hours). There is no fare to kids below 5 who ride with fare-paying rider, limit is 3. Senior citizens, disabled riders, and students are eligible for a discounted rate of $0.35, however these individuals must first obtain a CATS reduced fare ID card. Students of Louisiana State University, Southern University, Remington College or Virginia College may board the bus for free by presenting their student ID card. Additionally, the Downtown Trolley (Route 16) is free for all riders.[11]

A prepaid pass may be purchased from the CATS Terminal or from authorized resellers. The following passes are available:

  • 31-Day Pass ($56)
  • 7-Day Pass ($19)
  • 1-Day Pass ($4 weekdays, $2 weekends/holidays, can also be bought onboard buses)
  • 15 Single Rides Pass ($24.50/$5.25)


Fleet Number Range Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Number Engine Transmission Notes
21-25 1958 GMC Ex-Baton Rouge Bus Company 21-25.
26-50 1971 GMC T6H-4521A
38, 47 Yellow 2706
51-80 1955 GMC TDH 3714
76-77 2015 Cobus 3000 Mercedes Benz OM 904 LA Demo
78-79 1987 Blue Bird City Bird Detroit Diesel 6V92 Ex New Orleans NOPSI?
80-83 1986 Gillig Phantom 3096TB6V92 Detroit Diesel 6V92 Voith 864.3 Ex-Capital Metro Transit 1600, 1605-1606 & 1610.
84-93 1988 Gillig Phantom 35102TB6V92 Detroit Diesel 6V92 Allison B400 RETIRED
94-103 1990 Gillig Phantom Detroit 6v92TA Allison B400 RETIRED
104-120 1997 Gillig Phantom M11T35102 Cummins M11E Allison B400 SOME RETIRED
121-127 1998 Gillig Phantom C21B102N4 Cummins M11E Allison B400 SOME RETIRED
128-131 2002 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISC Voith 864.4 SOME RETIRED
250-255 2001 Gillig Phantom Cummins ISL Voith 864.4 Ex-Valley Metro Roanoke, VA 6 - 0101 series buses in service 2015
256,257 Year? Gillig Phantom Cummins ISC Voith 864.4 Ex-LTS Lafayette, LA 2 - 7000 series? In service early 2016
132-159 2005 Blue Bird Ultra Low Floor Cummins ISB Allison B300 5spd SOME RETIRED
160-165 2011 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4
166 2012 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4
167-178 2014 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4
179-183 2015 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4 NEW! Electric Cooling Fans ISL9
184-187 2016 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4 Similar to buses 179-183. In service 9/2016 (4 of 12 for 2016)
188-195 2016 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4 Driver area enclosed. In service 12/2016 (8 of 12 for 2016)
196-207 2017 Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL Voith 864.4 Driver area enclosed. In service 05/2017
300-302 2011 Double K Main Street Cummins ISB Allison B300 6spd
303 2012 Hometown Trolley Main Street Cummins ISB Allison B300 6spd
78-81 2012 Glaval Entourage Ford F550 V8 Diesel 6 speed Allison
82-96 2013 Glaval Entourage Ford F550 V8 Diesel 6 Speed Allison


  1. ^ "Baton Rouge Public Transit History". 
  2. ^ "CHAPTER 10. CAPITAL AREA TRANSIT SYSTEM ACT". Louisiana State Division of Administration. Archived from the original on 2013-04-09. 
  3. ^ "CATS tax proposal focuses on municipalities". Baton Rouge Area Chamber. 
  4. ^ "Turnout matters – how Baton Rouge voters passed a tax increase". JMC Enterprises. 
  5. ^ "CATS trying to rebrand its public image". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 2014-06-07. 
  6. ^ "Capital Area Transit System CEO resigns". 
  7. ^ "Fixed Route Map". Capital Area Transit System. Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. 
  8. ^ "New Multi-Hub System". Capital Area Transit System. Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. 
  9. ^ "Traffic woes prompt CATS to rethink bus transfer hubs". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. 
  10. ^ "Paratransit". Capital Area Transit System. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. 
  11. ^ "Fares". Capital Area Transit System. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. 

External links[edit]