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TMG Assists Baton Rouge Transit System as it Prepares for Big Change
In need of additional resources, the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) turned to the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish to establish the agency’s first dedicated source of revenue. Following an extensive outreach campaign that included a coalition of business, faith-based and other organizations, the Baton Rouge community in April 2012 approved a property tax measure which effectively doubled the agency’s budget in order to implement a number of significant improvements to service. This ballot success was a big win for the future of transit in the Capital and an exceptional event for transit nationwide, representative of a larger trend of new attitudes toward transportation.
In late 2012, CATS retained TMG Consulting to analyze the current state and progress of the organization as it was preparing to implement its growth plans and to make recommendations on what management structure would best meet the agencies goals through transition. TMG researched data from CATS and other relevant transit agencies of current and future size. Using gap analysis, TMG was able to estimate what resources and staff capacity the organization was likely to need to meet its future goals. After vetting a number of management alternatives that ranged from all in-house to fully contracted, or delegated, management, TMG recommended that CATS augment staff by contracting out selected management positions, an arrangement similar to transit agencies in El Paso, TX and Lexington, KY. TMG also prepared a number of other recommendations, from the pace of introducing new service to technology investment, to enable the agency to stay on track to deliver its ballot goals and bring CATS to the next level.
The CATS Board and staff is currently reviewing TMG’s recommendations as it prepares for what will undoubtedly be a bright new future for transit in Baton Rouge.
Dwight Norton, AICP
Senior Analyst, Planning
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