An area U.S. representative has called for the abolishment of the Capital Area Transit System and replacing it with a publicly subsidized, privatized, ride-sharing program.
Following recent comments in which he called CATS a “disaster” that “should be blown up” due to low ridership numbers, Congressman Garret Graves has announced a plan to replace the public transportation system with a model similar to that offered by the popular transport service Uber.
Like the ride-sharing service, Graves’ plan — which he calls Graves Uber, or GUBER — involves private individuals driving their personal vehicles to pick up riders and deliver them to their destinations.
“We have empty buses being driven around and routes CATS’ leadership wants to eliminate,” Graves stated, “so why not let the private sector do for public transit what it’s been doing to the taxi industry?”
The freshman Republican from Baton Rouge added he was only half-joking last week when he told the Press Club of Baton Rouge: “If you only have two people on a bus, you could have them (bus drivers) driving Toyota Tercels.”
“Why not let the private sector do for public transit what it’s been doing to the taxi industry?”
Graves noted GUBER customers would pay fares similar to what they’re paying now to use CATS, which is likely much lower than the typical Uber fare, with public funds making up the difference.
Despite concerns such a program could prove much more costly than CATS, Graves insisted GUBER would prove much more efficient than the current system.
“We wouldn’t have to worry about maintaining a fleet of vehicles and transit stations, not to mention the payroll of those drivers who drive empty vehicles all day, burning up fuel we’d no longer have to buy,” Graves said. “GUBER is the way of the future, a chance for Baton Rouge to be a leader and trendsetter in public transportation.”
As for the name GUBER, Graves explained he considered calling his plan “Graves Lyft” but decided against it, saying “it sounds stupid.”