COVID-19 Updates

CATS to continue current essential service during Phase One reopening

May 15, 2020

For Immediate Release

Baton Rouge, LA_ The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will continue to run its Covid-19  current essential service through the implementation of Phase One reopening that will be effective on Friday, May 15, 2020, as outlined by Governor Edwards.

CATS designed its current essential service to accommodate an anticipated gradual, cautious reopening strategy.

We are very happy to hear that the State has moved in a positive direction and is able to begin reopening,” said CATS CEO Bill Deville. “We have been thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting our vehicles and facilities daily and we will continue to do so moving forward into the ‘new normal’ recovery period,” Deville continued.

To enhance and maximize safety during this Covid-19 period, the agency continues to implement social distancing on its vehicles and facilities by enforcing limited seating and a maximum capacity of ten individuals per bus. CATS has been outfitting its frontline employees with PPE and strongly urges all customers to wear a mask or face covering that protects the mouth and nose when riding CATS.

CATS is working with multiple agencies in the community to monitor trends and best practices and continues to monitor its daily ridership in the wake of the Stay at Home Order. CATS will continue to comply with all federal, state, and local guidelines, including those from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Governor John Bel Edwards, and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

More information on CATS services and efforts during COVID-19 can be found on the CATS website or by calling the CATS Customer Care Center at 225.389.8282. Updates are shared on CATS social media channels: Facebook – CATSBR, Twitter - @btrcats, and Instagram - @btr_cats.

CATS to continue current service through Stay at Home Order extension


The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will comply with the extension of the Stay at Home Order announced by Governor John Bel Edwards on Monday, April 27, 2020, that is extended until May 15, 2020.

CATS remains an essential service and will continue to provide the current level of essential service to our community and customers. 

The agency remains committed to the health and safety of our employees and the community and maintains the heightened level of cleaning and disinfecting, social distance seating, waived fares, rear entry, and modified service that has been implemented during the pandemic.  

Under the extended order, which will be issued on Friday, May 1, businesses that previously were directed to be closed will remain closed, including salons, bars, and casinos, among other things.

Businesses that are deemed essential under federal CISA guidance may still be open. Non-essential retail businesses in Louisiana continue to be able to open with fewer than 10 people total inside.

CATS encourages those who can stay home to do so, unless going for essential items or services. The agency will continue to provide critical transportation service to those in essential industries. 

 

CATS temporarily reducing fixed-route daily service April 5th due to COVID-19

Bus service will continue with less frequency and fewer hours

For Immediate Release

Baton Rouge, LA_ The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will temporarily restructure its daily fixed-route service beginning Sunday, April 5, 2020, in response to the ongoing Stay at Home order from Governor John Bel Edwards. The continued service is in recognition of the US Homeland Security and State of Louisiana mandated COVID-19 designation of mass transit as an essential service.

“We transport employees to and from their essential jobs, including healthcare workers and grocery store employees,” said CATS CEO Bill Deville. “We also take our customers to medical facilities, shopping for essential grocery items, and to check on their family members,” Deville continued.

CATS will continue to provide service at a temporarily reduced schedule to ensure the community still has access to critical and lifesaving services in the community. This continuation will also work to promote economic stability over the coming months for the capital city.

Daily service will continue on virtually all routes from approximately 5:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This is an increase in Saturday service, which reflects the need to transport workers in critical industries. Service to several hospitals and medical facilities, served by Route 60 Medical Circulator, will increase.

A new service design linking Route 44 Florida directly with Route 58 Coursey Boulevard and Route 59 East Florida Boulevard provides a one-seat ride from the CATS Terminal to Ochsner Hospital. This new schedule maximizes opportunities to connect with other CATS routes.

Sunday service will operate on virtually all routes with a reduced span of service, beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m.

Several routes are being suspended in this service reduction as a result of COVID-19. Routes not in operation include Route 16 Capitol Park Shuttle (the downtown area will be served by Routes 22 and 44) Route 72 Florida Limited (stops will be served by Route 44) and Route 80 Southern University Shuttle (service suspended due to university closure).

Detailed information on each route and its schedule can be found here.

CATS On Demand, the agency’s ADA paratransit service, will not be affected during this service reduction and will continue to operate at regular service levels.

CATS has waived fares for all trips to lessen interactions between operators and customers. Customers are asked to enter and exit the vehicle from the rear/side door. Mobility-impaired customers will continue to enter and exit at the front door via wheelchair lift.

Social distancing has been implemented on all CATS vehicles and there is limited seating available. The maximum capacity for each vehicle is 10.

More information on CATS services and efforts during COVID-19 can be found on the CATS website or by calling the CATS Customer Care Center at 225.389.8282. Updates are shared on CATS social media channels: Facebook – CATSBR, Twitter - @btrcats, and Instagram - @btr_cats.

CATS complies with CISA mandate

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

On March 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued its Memorandum on Identification of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers during COVID-19 Response” identifying essential critical infrastructure industries, including the “Mass Transit” industry, for the purpose of the declared COVID-19 state of emergency period.

This mandate directs the mass transit industry to continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance, with the responsibility to maintain its normal work schedule. The Governor of Louisiana declared a state of emergency on March 11, 2020, that included the all transit agencies, including CATS abide by the CISA mandate.

CATS strongly encourages the community to heed the Stay at Home order from Governor Edwards and understands some people are working in the essential jobs fields that require them to continue working.

CATS is here to serve the public and has implemented limited seating capacity, waived fares, and is running a modified service.

The health and safety of our community and our operators remains our highest priority.

CATS continues to run modified schedule with enhanced safety features as a result of COVID-19

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

For Immediate Release

Baton Rouge, LA_ The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) continues to run its modified weekday schedule to provide necessary transportation to the community.

The heightened safety features have been implemented to comply with directives from the Governor to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

CATS encourages everyone who can stay at home to do so. Those who need to go to stores for essential items, go to medical appointments, and those who must still report to work will continue to have the vital service of CATS to get them where they need to go. 

Transportation has been deemed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an essential function, and CATS has no plans to shutter service during this time of critical social distancing and remaining in place.

In compliance with the declaration from Governor Edwards, CATS essential personnel are still reporting for duty; non-essential personnel are working remotely.

Effective Friday, March 20th and until further notice, the agency has waived fares and is allowing customers to board vehicles from the rear/side door. This encourages distance between operators and customers and reduces the contact with money and fareboxes.

Those customers utilizing wheelchairs or other mobility devices are still allowed to board at the front door via wheelchair lifts.

Social distancing is being enforced by provided limited seating on vehicles and limiting the number of customers per vehicle to ten or less.

Maintenance and facility crews have intensified their cleaning and disinfecting efforts. All vehicles are deep cleaned twice daily and “spot” cleaning is happening throughout the day. Common areas at the CATS Terminal and administrative offices are also being cleaned multiple times daily.

Operators have been provided hand sanitizer, gloves, and are equipped with disinfecting spray to use throughout their shifts.

Updates on CATS service and efforts can be found by on the CATS website or calling the CATS Customer Care Center at 225.389.8282. Updates on service are also shared on CATS social media channels: Facebook – CATSBR, Twitter – @brtcats, and Instagram – @btr_cats.

CATS to run a modified weekday service during COVID-19

Thursday, March 19, 2020


For immediate release

Baton Rouge, LA_ As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will temporarily run a modified weekday schedule effective Friday, March 20, 2020, and until further notice. Service will still begin daily at the same time. There will be no additional buses for peak service and the last buses will pick up customers at 9:30pm. 

This measure is to ensure the safety of CATS operators and customers during this time of social distancing. The agency will monitor the service daily to determine if changes are needed. This will remain in effect until directives from officials change.

Keeping with orders from officials, if there are already ten customers on a bus, customers will need to wait for the next bus to board. Operators will convey this information to customers at the stops. 

"We recognize that we are in a challenging time right now," said CATS CEO Bill Deville. "We will continue providing service as long as it is safe to do so, and we want to respect the call for isolation as much as possible. This is the best way for us to meet both needs," Deville continued. 

More information can be found at http://www.brcats.com/COVID-19 or by calling the Customer Care Center at 225.389.8282.

CATS to waive fares temporarily during COVID-19

Thursday, March 19, 2020

For immediate release

Baton Rouge, LA_ As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Capital Area Transit System (CATS) will waive fares for all customers effective immediately and until further notice. Additionally, all customers must enter and exit from the rear (side) door of the vehicle. 

This measure is to ensure the safety of CATS operators and customers while the threat of COVID-19 remains present. 

More information can be found on the CATS website at www.brcats.com or by calling the Customer Care Center at 225.389.8282.

CATS is monitoring coronavirus updates

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is closely observing news regarding COVID-19. The agency is monitoring all relevant news and bulletins from the federal, state, and local levels and will comply with any directives given. 

At this time, there is no change to the daily service. If a change in service is deemed necessary, that information will be communicated to the public.

Our first priority is safety, and that includes both our employees and the community we serve.

We are working to maintain a level of safety and cleanliness while we continue to provide service.

Please visit our website at www.brcats.com or our Facebook page at CATSBR for up-to- date information.

CATS is monitoring coronavirus updates

Friday, March 13, 2020


The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is closely observing news regarding COVID-19. The agency is monitoring all relevant news and bulletins from the federal, state, and local levels and will comply with any directives given. 

At this time, there is no change to the daily service. If a change in service is deemed necessary, that information will be communicated to the public.

Our first priority is safety, and that includes both our employees and the community we serve.

We are working to maintain a level of safety and cleanliness while we continue to provide service.

Please visit our website at www.brcats.com or our Facebook page at CATSBR for up-to- date information.

A message regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

Thursday, March 12, 2020


The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) knows that the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is very real and can be alarming. We want the public to be aware that CATS is monitoring all relevant news and bulletins from the federal, state, and local levels. The agency is also actively enhancing the cleaning efforts in vehicles for both the regular, fixed-route service and the paratransit CATS On Demand service.

CATS has formed a Coronavirus Task Force that is meeting multiple times weekly and has participated in a webinar to learn how transit can best respond and be prepared. Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is posted in CATS vehicles and has been shared with CATS employees.

Additional deep cleaning and disinfecting is taking place in the buildings to ensure that areas, especially commonly used and high traffic spots are thoroughly cleaned daily. The CDC recommends that the elderly and those with compromised immune systems remain indoors and encourages those who are ill to remain home.

The agency is working to determine the best course of action if an employee or a passenger becomes infected with the virus.

We will continue to update the public as more news is shared. 

For more information regarding CATS, please visit the website at www.brcats.com. 

 

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome/Red Stick Ready: https://www.brla.gov/2151/COVID-19-Novel-Coronavirus-Information
 
Governor Edwards Statewide Stay at Home Order: https://gov.louisiana.gov/order/
May 11, 2020: https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2488 
 
Governor John Bel Edwards: https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/89
 
Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
 
NBC33/Fox44 News: https://www.brproud.com/news/c-a-t-s-working-to-prevent-the-spreading-of-the-cornoavirus/
 
WAFB News: https://www.wafb.com/2020/03/19/cats-waives-bus-fares-temporarily-during-covid-/
 
Advocate: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/coronavirus/article_3899831a-69ef-11ea-b7ad-0fb56a484d81.html