Baton Rouge-New Orleans Commuter Rail
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is advocating for commuter rail between Baton Rouge and New Orleans on existing tracks. Executive Vice President John M. Spain has been the lead on this project, and he serves on the board of the Southern Rail Commission. Studies say that $262 million in upgrades would bring the tracks up to standards for commuter rail.
Recommended train stops are downtown and the Health District in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, LaPlace, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and the Union Passenger Terminal next to the Superdome in New Orleans.
Train service makes sense for many reasons:
- Commuter rail would connect the two biggest cities in Louisiana, further advancing a super region that could compete with larger metropolitan areas, like Houston. The super region has 54% of the state's population and 59% of the jobs.
- Commuter rail is a more reliable means of traveling than automobile. Cars get stuck in I-10 traffic.
- Trains can be used for evacuation ahead of storms.
- Trains are a civilized way to travel. Commuters can spend the time working or enjoying the ride.