Last Friday, the State Department of Transportation and Development announced that they will end LA Swift bus service at the end of June. The LA Swift provides inter-city bus service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. What started in 2006 as a post-Katrina recovery transportation service to help displaced residents rebuild their homes and lives has transformed into an essential transit connection carrying more than 12,000 riders monthly.
In April, Ride New Orleans, AARP Louisiana and the Center for Planning Excellence surveyed more than 300 LA Swift riders to reveal what the human and economic impacts of the loss of this service would mean for our region. Here’s what we learned.
According to a study by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, in 2010, over 26,000 workers commuted from the Baton Rouge metro to the New Orleans metro, while 22,000 workers commuted in the opposite direction making our super region a place where “labor is pooled, and innovation and production are concentrated.”
At a time when we should be expanding connectivity between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the elimination of LA Swift service will have devastating impacts for its regular riders.
Ride New Orleans encourages all who believe that the LA Swift is a critical transit service to take action by:
1. Call & email your local elected officials
Call and email your City Council, Parish President and Mayor’s office to let them know how important continued LA Swift service is to you. Be sure to also reach out to regional public officials at the New Orleans and Capital Area Regional Planning Commissions.
2. Sign the petition
LA Swift rider Melisa York was quick to take action by starting an online petition. Take a moment to sign the petition and recruit other riders, friends and family to sign on with their support for this critical service.