An update of Thursday’s Capital Area Transit System bus crash that left three people injured in mid-city. The accident brings up the long-standing debate of whether the busses are even safe.
“It could have been you or I walking down this street, driving down this street, that the bus could have run over. It could have killed someone,” said C. Denise Marcelle, Louisiana State Representative and former Baton Rouge Metro Council Member.
Authorities say a CATS bus crashed into the side of this house, after hitting another vehicle, and mechanical problems seem to be at fault.
“I just knew this was going to happen with the buses, and the condition they run the buses in. The brakes that are often time going out on these buses,” said Marcelle. “Wednesday, the driver that was supposed to drive that very bus refused to drive the bus.”
Marcelle said she has tried to shine light on this problem for years.
“So it’s a public safety issue for me, and when they don’t take care of the maintenance of the buses, that’s real problem for this community,” explained Marcelle. “I’ve gotten so many complaints about windshield wipers not working for drivers. I got so many complaints about people with handicap issues not being able to get on the bus.”
The CATS Board is scheduled to meet Monday with the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents bus drivers and engineers. An ATU representative was actually on scene Thursday, and she believes funding is one of the biggest battles for the transit system.
“We want to make sure that when CATS put buses on the roads, they are safe. That they should be traveling back and forth, and that’s some incidents that have been very concerning of us as the Union,” said Antonette C. Bryant. “We’re not here to do anything more than insure that there’s a safe riding situation for every CATS rider and every CATS operator.”
CATS officials wouldn’t comment any further on the investigation, but said they would at a later date. The meeting with the ATU is scheduled for Monday morning at 9:00.