Republican chair knocks lawmaker's plan to expand CATS - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Republican chair knocks lawmaker's plan to expand CATS

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Huntsville woman stabbed with kitchen knife, police say

    Huntsville woman stabbed with kitchen knife, police say

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:30:38 GMT
    A Huntsville woman was stabbed in the leg with a kitchen knife. (Source: MGNOnline)A Huntsville woman was stabbed in the leg with a kitchen knife. (Source: MGNOnline)
    Huntsville Police Department responded to a Domestic Violence call on the 100 block of Mason Court at approximately 12:10 a.m.More >>
    Huntsville Police Department responded to a Domestic Violence call on the 100 block of Mason Court at approximately 12:10 a.m.More >>
  • Police: Woman screams at intruder

    Police: Woman screams at intruder

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:16 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:16:10 GMT
    A Huntsville woman woke up to find an unknown male in her home. (Source: MGNOnline)A Huntsville woman woke up to find an unknown male in her home. (Source: MGNOnline)
    The Huntsville Police Department responded to a robbery call in the 3500 block of Nathalee Avenue at approximately 1:00 a.m. Wednesday.More >>
    The Huntsville Police Department responded to a robbery call in the 3500 block of Nathalee Avenue at approximately 1:00 a.m. Wednesday.More >>
  • Breaking

    Hit and run suspect free on bond

    Hit and run suspect free on bond

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 6:48 AM EDT2014-09-17 10:48:35 GMT
    Police monitored activity around this SUV Monday. (Source: WAFF)Police monitored activity around this SUV Monday. (Source: WAFF)
    The woman accused in a deadly hit and run Sunday night is now free on bond.Madison County jail officials confirm 31 year old LaTonya Haley was released on $15,000 bond just before 10:30 Tuesday night.More >>
    The woman accused in a deadly hit and run Sunday night is now free on bond.Madison County jail officials confirm 31 year old LaTonya Haley was released on $15,000 bond just before 10:30 Tuesday night.More >>
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The chair of the Republican Party is against a state lawmaker's idea of expanding the CATS bus system.

Representative Regina Barrow wants to create a route that would include Woman's Hospital.

She hopped on a CATS bus to see what patients who use public transit go through to get to the new Woman's Hospital. She started at the bus stop outside of Earl K Long Hospital. It took her two hours. Representative Barrow said it proves public transportation needs to be expanded.

Republican Chairman for East Baton Rouge Parish, Woody Jenkins, disagrees.

"It did not prove a point because what the real situation is that CATS is not a medical transportation system," Jenkins said.

The state provides medical transportation services free of charge to patients who are on Medicaid. They call an 800 number 48 hours before their doctor's appointment to schedule a ride to and from their appointments. 9News confirmed the program does include transportation to and from Woman's.

Jenkins said the state provides the services to those who qualify.

"There's a means test. So if you don't qualify you should be able to pay for it yourself," Jenkins said.

Representative Barrow argues just because a person isn't on Medicaid doesn't mean they can afford a car.

"That's easy to say when you have your own transportation. It's not that simple for everybody.

When an individual is in the hospital an important part of recovery is having the support system there and many people of course can't get there, don't go," Barrow explained.

Barrow is proposing CATS expand its routes to include Woman's Hospital.

In the meantime, she's suggesting a trolley system where riders would pay a fee to travel from the Mall of Louisiana to Woman's.

Jenkins believes the idea is extreme.

"Just the idea that it would cost $10,000 or $15,000 to create a new route and run buses every 15 minutes doesn't make sense," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said 1.24 million people in Louisiana use the free medical transportation services.

Louisiana Medicaid's Medical Transportation Service Information

Phone Numbers for Scheduling Offices:

  • Alexandria 1-800-466-3490
  • Baton Rouge 1-800-259-1944
  • Lafayette: 1-800-864-6034
  • Lake Charles: 1-800-864-6034
  • Monroe: 1-800-259-1835
  • New Orleans: 1-800-836-9587
  • Shreveport: 1-800-259-7235

How to schedule transportation:

  • Call the transportation scheduling office closest to where you live
  • Call 48 hours before the scheduled medical appointment
  • Provide the Medicaid number and date of birth for person who needs transportation

How to cancel or reschedule transportation

When unable to keep an appointment, call the transportation scheduling office as soon as possible to cancel or reschedule.

The "Friends and Family Transportation Program" also available throughout Louisiana Medicaid pays a friend or family member to take you to the doctor when certain conditions are met. Call 1-888-342-6207 for more information regarding this program.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.