Who Are We
Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is the regional transit authority of the Baton Rouge metropolitan region. CATS provides quality mass transit services in East Baton Rouge Parish for a population of 430,317 and within a service area of 296 square miles in the capital region. CATS provides fixed route service, paratransit service for disabled passengers, contractual service to Southern University and seasonal service for special events. CATS operates 20 fixed routes and paratransit services with 90 transit buses and vans. CATS operates the main terminal at 2250 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge and uses a hub and spoke model for delivering its transit services.
CATS's legacy extends as far back as 1881, when mule-driven trolley cars operated on Government Street as the Baton Rouge Street Railroad Company. Eleven years later, the Capital Railway and Lighting Company was born. Instead of mule-driven trolleys, the first electric cars were used to transport Baton Rougeans around town.
Through the years CATS has worn different "hats” as it has evolved from a private business to a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana created by special act of the Louisiana legislature. Names changed from the Baton Rouge Bus Company to Metro Transit to the present day Capital Area Transit System, but they all had one thing in common: transporting the people of the Baton Rouge area.
For many years CATS operated from its streetcar/bus barn near the intersection of Plank Road and Scenic Highway, and then from a location on Seneca Street. In May 1998, CATS built its administrative, maintenance and transfer facility at 2250 Florida Boulevard. The passenger transfer facility features waiting areas, information and customer support and passenger loading areas for 18 buses. Administrative/Maintenance facilities feature a state-of-the-art bus repair and maintenance shop, modern administration offices and break areas for all employees.
In June 1999, CATS began operating buses seven days a week, 363 days a year. Also in 1999, extended hours were added, with some routes operating late into the evening.