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Garden District Book Shop, 6PM
From her new book "Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, & Speakeasies"
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 7PM
Book publishing workshop
Dillrd University, 7PM
Olympic gymnast talks fame and fitness
The Carver, 7PM
World soul jazz music
Loyola University, 7PM
Clowns for a cause, to benefit Syrian refugees
St. Roch Tavern, 8PM
Tonight: beer, haircuts, karaoke
Bayou Beer Garden, 8PM
Blue Nile, 9PM
Interstellar future funk
Snug Harbor, 10PM
Galactic drummer’s side project - also at 8PM
Botanical Garden, 10AM
Art exhibit and sale en plein air
Alex Beard Studio, 5PM
Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening
Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM
Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle
Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM
Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party
New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM
Coastal scientist discusses his work
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
The Birds and the Mavs go head to head
Allways Lounge, 7PM
Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night
2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM
Cocktails for a cause
Saenger Theatre, 8PM
The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds"
Catahoula Hotel, 8PM
Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!
BJs in the Bywater, 8PM
Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo
Bar Redux, 9PM
NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts
Howlin Wolf, 10PM
Bronx hip hop comes south
Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM
Live art in the air
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Mia Borders
New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM
Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain
Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM
Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume
Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM
8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden
The Republlic, 7PM
Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show
Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM
DIY rock, pop, punk show
Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM
Joy Theater, 8PM
The Carver, 9PM
NOLA brass all-stars
Gasa Gasa, 9PM
Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support
Allways Lounge, 10:30PM
Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers
One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM
80s dance party
LA Swift Supporters Seek Long Term Funding
Keeping the commuter bus between New Orleans and Baton Rouge running will likely require private interests on both ends of the line to pony up, according to officials. On Thursday, the state announced it was extending operations of LA Swift for one more month to give local entities a chance to come up with enough money to fund the service. But that doesn't mean the service is funded. With City coffers tight both in the Crescent City and Red Stick, in-kind donations will be required to keep wheels on.
The bus, which runs between New Orleans' Union Passenger Terminal and Baton Rouge, was created in the wake of the Federal Flood to allow for transit between the two cities for displaced residents and commuters. However, the federal funding runs out at the end of the state's fiscal year on June 30.
By extending the service through July, the state Department of Transportation and Development also agreed to use one-time funding to cover the cost of the service. After that funding, the service is staring down a tab of $750,000 per year that must be picked up by locals. And due to regulations put in place by the Federal Transit Authority, even increasing the $5 fares wouldn't cut it. Local entities are required to match funding with the state, and the money for a ride cannot cover that money, according to the state.
For the short-term fix, organizations like the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, as well as local businesses from both cities, are looking to raise money that would cover the cost for the next year. The City may also kick in some money, said City of New Orleans communications director Ryan Berni.
"There may be an 'in-kind' local match given that the City owns the Union Passenger Terminal, where there is a pickup and drop off point," Berni said in an e-mail.
But that only solves the problem in the short-term. The bus service has the backing of Mayor Mitch and the New Orleans City Council, who passed a resolution Thursday calling on the service to remain in place, as well as leaders in the business community in both cities. The gap created when the state's one-time money runs out will also need to be filled. That could lead to fare increases, or contributions
of additional state money. In the meantime, the City has also asked the Regional Planning Commission to look into potential funding sources, Berni said.
The local transport advocacy group Ride New Orleans recently conducted a survey that showed 51 percent out 300 riders used the bus to get to work, and another 17 percent use the bus to access health care services. Organization director Rachel Heiligman is confident that the short-term fixes will fall into place.
Heiligman believes the new funding scheme could also be an opportunity for improvements to the bus line, said Rachel Heiligman, executive director of transit advocacy group Ride New Orleans.
"The service really could benefit from some refinement, and perhaps even some expansion," she said.
In Baton Rouge, the bus currently doesn't stop on LSU's campus, or in downtown Baton Rouge, Heiligman said. By adding stops, the bus service could expand into an even more realistic transit option that would reduce congestion on Interstate 10, Heiligman said.
Stephen Babcock contributed to this article.
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz