CRISIS supports Baton Rouge mayors road tax proposal

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – The Baton Rouge Airport kicked off some new non-stop flights Thursday afternoon. They now offer service to Orlando, Florida and Austin, Texas.

The flights will be provided by VIA Airlines, which reached an agreement with BTR earlier in 2018. Interim Aviation Director Mike Edwards says Austin was in high demand for business travelers, and Orlando is a popular vacation spot.

Disney World, the theme parks, its a big market, especially here in Baton Rouge. A lot of our travelers frequent Orlando on family trips and vacations, Edwards said.

Among the first passengers was Liz Hampton, a Texas Longhorns fan that couldnt wait for the flight. She was on her way to the college football game. Hampton says shes relieved she can now get a good flight out of Baton Rouge, as opposed to having to leave from New Orleans. Its wonderful. Baton Rouge needs to support the airline. If we dont support it, its not gonna stay, and its up to us to fly and support it, she said.

Flights to Orlando will be offered on Mondays and Thursdays, while flights to Austin will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

CRISIS, the Baton Rouge area business-led coalition for transportation improvements, today joined the Baton Rouge Area Chamber in its backing of Mayor Sharon Weston Broomes proposed half-cent sales tax in East Baton Rouge Parish for transportation infrastructure.

Dubbed MoveBR, the dedicated tax would fund a transportation infrastructure project list of $805 million in new investment in more than 60 projects in East Baton Rouge Parish. Voters will have the final say on the proposal at the polls on Dec. 8. BRAC announced its backing the proposal on Tuesday.

CRISIS is committed to supporting data-driven solutions to transportation problems in this region. The data analysis by the Metropolitan Planning Organization demonstrates the projects in MoveBR are highly effective at improving mobility in the region, says CRISIS Executive Director Scott Kirkpatrick in a prepared statement.

The analysis shows the cumulative congestion relief from the MoveBR projects is greater than any one large project could, CRISIS says. An estimated 4.6 million hours annually of congestion relief is anticipated once the program is fully implemented.

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