The following is a press release from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development:
BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) hosted a ceremony to present public transit vans to qualifying community agencies. Seventeen vans were given to twelve agencies across the state through DOTD's Elderly and Disabled Program and the Rural Public Transportation Program. With an investment of $5.1 million, DOTD will be able to provide a total of 133 vehicles over the course of the program this year.
Secretary LeBas said, "Through our Public Transportation Section, we are able to provide a variety of programs and services that support public transit in Louisiana, improving people's access to jobs and to community services. These vans will offer improved access for the elderly and disabled, in addition to providing transportation for individuals in rural communities."
The ceremony was held on the front lawn of DOTD's headquarters building in Baton Rouge at 10 a.m., where DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by Representative Karen St. Germaine, Chair of the House Transportation Committee, DOTD Assistant Secretary Dennis Decker, Office of Planning and Programming, and DOTD Deputy Assistant Secretary Phil Jones, Intermodal Planning, to present the attending agencies with keys to the new vehicles.
Representative St. Germaine said, "The agencies that are here today to accept these vehicles provide a vital service to the communities they serve. I am happy to support a program that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Louisiana."
The following agencies received public transit vehicles: Assumption ARC, Special Education District #1 (Lafourche), Winn Council on Aging, Lafourche ARC, DeSoto Habilitation Services, St. Mary Residential Training School, The Magnolia School (Jefferson), Donaldsonville ARC, Assumption Council on Aging, Allen Council on Aging, Plaquemines Community Action Agency, and the Red River Council on Aging.
DOTD provides approximately $16.6 million in funding each year to support 155 transit agencies and eight Metropolitan Planning Organizations' public transportation efforts. In addition, DOTD operates the LA Swift bus service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, which has provided over 936,000 passenger trips since it began in October 2005.
DOTD is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state's aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.