A Donkey With A Roll-Bar?

There’s a rising hue and cry for the CATS (Capitol Area Transit System) to be rescued from its prior profligacy by a further extension of that same profligacy. It threatens those most readily affected by the closure of the program.

That would be politicians; not the bus riders. The politicians are making this a politicized matter of the haves rejecting the needs of the have-nots.

CATS (at this time) has a $12 million budget it can’t seem to live with or prosper from. The mismanagement this appears to indicate is tragic. The concept of this regular and vibrant deficit strikes at the heart of sanity to give the same operators MORE and GREATER amounts of money. It is (to be kind) ill-advised and to be blatantly honest; stupid.

On April 21st, East Baton Rouge Parish votes on whether the homeowners of the parish will support a proposition (without relief from Homestead Exemption or Senior Citizen consideration) to allow the same people responsible for the fiscal losses and colossal mismanagement driving these diesel dinosaurs closer and closer to business extinction. The foxes ask the farmers to raze the walls of the hen-house so they can more easily gather the eggs not pilfered yet.

It should be noted the service asking for the tax increase will most probably NOT be used by the people forced to support it. Homeowners in the core city might, but those living in outlying areas drive their own vehicles to work and thus have NO use for mass transit. Buses are locked into routes. Private vehicles can adjust their routes for efficiency. There’s no need for transfers either.

The proponents of this money grab say there are over ten thousand people ride the buses daily. The opposition says the number is more like three thousand. Why hasn’t there been an accurate, properly conducted census of riders been tabulated and verified? The people wanting the money say they can’t survive without more money. Why haven’t they published and presented to the public a business plan they follow to assure the proper operation of this PUBLIC TRUST they so evidently have violated repeatedly?

As this is a regularly issued plea for the benefit of the downtrodden, what is the share the alleged downtrodden and poverty stricken will shoulder to help the problem. Ten thousand riders per day times five days a week (minimum) times 52 weeks a year sounds like a lot of money to be LOST by these business mavens. (That’s 10,000 peopleX$1.75=$17,500 daily X 5 days=$87,500 (per 5 day week) X 52 weeks=$4,550,000 dollars before expenditures.) The bus riders quoted are 10,000 strong as offered by the tax proponents. CATS already has a $12 million budget. That should show $7 Million 450 thousand dollars left over to cover expenses. Somebody will claim my numbers are off. That’s okay. Just answer the next question with itemized lists of expenditures.

Where’s the rest of the money go? Where are you burning up $12 million?

Explain that before you ask for an additional $18 million, folks. Regularly buying newer buses might not be too smart. Building newer bus stops might not be so cool because it doesn’t improve efficiency; something this system has poorly executed in many aspects of the public trust.

The problem with the CATS program is it’s like having a race horse designed by a committee. You get a donkey with a roll-bar or a camel on roller skates. Public officials are never qualified to do all they complement themselves with and think themselves capable of while campaigning. They forecast their future success and almost always fail to deliver fully because everybody wants to run something. People polarize on many issues. It’s a two party system and this really “ain’t no party” when it gets up and running.

The level of competent leadership and operational acumen to run a Capitol Area Transit System is NON-EXISTENT as it pertains to the Metro-Council. They can’t even recognize nobody uses a library smack in the middle of the city before they build a new on nobody will use.

People of East Baton Rouge: good luck! You’re going to need it with this crew.

Thanks for listening.

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