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100 Lafayette St
Baton Rouge, LA, 70801
United States


An initiative of the Center for Planning Excellence, the CONNECT Coalition advocates for expanded mobility choices throughout the New Orleans to Baton Rouge Super Region and improve access to affordable homes, job centers and equitable economic opportunity.

Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority

CONNECT was instrumental in passing legislation that created the Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority — providing new leadership and authority to advocate for and efficiently operate regional rail.

As of 2014, seven parishes along the rail corridor have come together as initial members to form the Rail Authority. The legislation requires that each municipality appoint an equal number of members. Still in its early formation, the Rail Authority has drafted bylaws and a charter and is pursuing its mission of leading the funding, financing, construction and operation of intercity passenger rail along this corridor.

Members of the LA Super Region Rail Authority currently include:

Louisiana Designee from Southern Rail Commission: Michael Jackson

New Orleans appointed four members on April 7, 2011:

  • Andy Kopplin, First Deputy Mayor & CAO
  • Cedric Grant, Executive Director Sewerage & Water Board
  • Kristin Gisleson Palmer, Chair of Rail Authority
  • Walt Leger, LA Representative, District 91

Baton Rouge appointed four representatives on October 10, 2012:

  • Joel Boe’, Councilman
  • John Price, Assistant CAO
  • Cheri Ausberry, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
  • Connie Lewis, Gulf Coast BIDCO

Ascension Parish appointed four members on January 24, 2013:

  • Councilwoman Terri Casso, Ascension Parish Council, District 8
  • Councilman Travis Turner, Ascension Parish Council, District 3
  • Johnny Berthelot, Rep. District 88
  • Ryland Percy, Percy, Lanoux, Mumphrey & Martin Attorneys at Law

Jefferson Parish appointed four members on March 24, 2013:

  • Jim Hudson, Executive Vice President, Iberia Bank
  • Hon. Elton Lagasse, Jefferson Parish Councilman At Large, Div B
  • Kazem Alikhani, Jefferson Parish Director of Public Works
  • Mark Drewes, Jefferson Parish Director of Engineering

St. Charles Parish appointed four members on March 10, 2014:

  • Traci A. Fletcher, Council District VI
  • Buddy Boe, CAO
  • Taryn Rogers, Valero Refinery
  • Michael Albert, Director of Planning and Zoning

St. John the Baptist Parish appointed four members on November 26, 2013:

  • Natalie Robottom, Parish President
  • Brian Nunes, Director of Public Works
  • Eliza Eugene, Economic Development Board member
  • Marvin Perrilloux, Councilmember, District IV

St. James Parish appointed four members on January 21, 2015:

  • Ryan Donadieu, Planning and Permitting Supervisor
  • Terry McCreary, Councilman District 3
  • Michelle Octave, CAO
  • Jennifer Grigsby, Public Affairs Specialist, The Mosaic Company