Founded in 2011 with funding from the Ford Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, CPEX's CONNECT Coalition aligned efforts by various stakeholders to improve network connectivity for transportation, jobs, and housing in the Baton Rouge to New Orleans superregion. 


The CONNECT coalition worked from 2011-2015 to advance a multi-modal transportation network of passenger rail, transit, complete streets, and transportation planning. The Coalition advocated for improved access to affordable homes, job centers, and equitable economic opportunity. 


The CONNECT initiative nurtured successful collaborative efforts among advocates from across the superregion, including engaging the leadership of more than 40 nonprofit organizations to serve on the Coalition, and more than 500 member/partner organizations.

The Coalition's primary successes included:

  • Adoption of state legislation to create the Louisiana Super Regional Rail Authority to advance and oversee passenger rail improvements
  • Adoption and implementation of state, regional, and local Complete Streets policies
  • Hosting annual policy forums, convening federal, state, regional, and local policymakers and shaping the conversation around transportation priorities
  • Publication of policy briefs outlining the benefits of greater collaboration between in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans superregion
  • Successful referendum for dedicated revenue to improve and expand the Baton Rouge transit system in April 2012
  • Facilitated collaboration between Baton Rouge and New Orleans Metropolitan Planning Organizations to fund passenger rail feasibility study
  • Conducted a public opinion poll with 75% of respondents expressing support for superregional passenger rail

Resources and Publications



  • Capital Region Planning Commission
  • South Central Planning Commission
  • Jefferson Transit
  • New Orleans Regional Planning Commission
  • Jefferson Parish Planning Department
  • New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
  • Capital Area Transit System
  • New Orleans Office of Community Development
  • New Orleans Legislative Delegation
  • Capital Region Legislative Delegation
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Office
  • Rep. Cedric Richmond’s Office
  • Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority
  • Southern Rail Commission


  • Smart Growth America
  • T4 America
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • HNTB
  • AARP
  • Ride New Orleans
  • Forum 35
  • Sierra Club
  • New Orleans Downtown Development District
  • Baton Rouge Downtown Development District
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Louisiana Public Transit Association
  • Gulf Coast Housing Partnership
  • New Orleans Citizen Participation Project
  • City-Works
  • Greater New Orleans Biosciences Economic Development District
  • Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • PolicyLink
  • Travel Tech Foundation
  • Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
  • American Planning Association, Louisiana Chapter
  • American Society of Landscape Architects, Louisiana Chapter


Steering Committee Members

  • AARP
  • One Voice
  • Bike Baton Rouge
  • Bike Easy
  • Ride New Orleans
  • Foundation for Louisiana
  • GCR
  • The Data Center
  • Greater New Orleans Inc.
  • Greater New Orleans Urban League
  • Harmony Neighborhood Development
  • LANO
  • Louisiana Housing Alliance
  • Louisiana Realtors Association
  • Louisiana Public Health Institute
  • Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge
  • Providence Community Housing
  • Neighborhood Partnership Network
  • Raymond A. Jetson, Star Hill Church
  • Community Land Trust
  • New Orleans Workers Center
  • Tulane Prevention Research Center – Kids Walk Coalition
  • Miller Urban Consulting
  • Center for Community Progress
  • University of New Orleans Transportation Institute
  • Norman Francis, Xavier University