The Acadiana Planning Commission announced today that the seven-month Ride Acadiana pilot program which created a bus route between Acadia Parish and Lafayette will conclude April 5.
The pilot route was created in August 2018 to test the feasibility of a commuter transit route from communities in Acadia Parish to Lafayette. According to a release, the bus program hoped to bring increased access to employment and education opportunities for those living in Acadia Parish.
Deidra Druilahet, Acadiana Planning Commission Communications Manager, said the pilot went well.
Druilahet said, “We were able to get some really good feedback… We saw that there is a need for regional transit. Quite a few people utilize it for job opportunities, and that’s our goal, for be to be able to maintain employment, and obtain employment.
Ride Acadiana says that 2,375 participants boarded buses during the pilot program’s run, showing a demand for regional transit. Monique Boulet, Acadiana Planning Commission Chief Executive Officer, says Ride Acadiana has established a workable model that could be replicated in other communities seeking to provide similar transit options for their residents.
Druilahet said, “Right now we are working on putting together a model of transit opportunity that we can present to local municipalities.”
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College, Lafayette General Health, and the governing bodies of Acadia Parish, Crowley, Rayne, Duson, Scott, and Lafayette partnered in the program.
Monica, a Lafayette resident used the transit to visit family in Crowley. Monica said, “People need it here, we have family everywhere.”
Funding for the pilot route was provided via a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with support from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, according to a release.
The program was administered by the Acadiana Planning Commission through an operating agreement with Lafayette Transit System.
Riders can express interest in the transit system by contacting their City Hall.