LA Swift is the bus service, heretofore paid entirely by the federal government and by small passenger assessments that vary between $4.40 and $5.00 a trip, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The idea was, after Hurricane Katrina, to provide an opportunity for those displaced from the New Orleans area to have access, perhaps even be employed, in the area while temporarily housed in Baton Rouge or select points in between. The federal government put up all the funds, presently about $2.3 million a year.
Over the years, naturally enough, the program began to mutate beyond its original purpose and thereby expand. While a ridership survey showed the majority of rides involved getting to and from work, nearly half were reported as occurring for visitation purposes, and some for health care reasons. Only a third did not have a private car to use for transport. It also promised some amenities in traveling, such as ability to view televisions, wireless connectivity, and the ability to transport bicycles. It grew into eight round-trips on weekdays, five during weekends with more limited stops, serving over 12,000 riders a month and thus promoting the following possibility.