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Old February 15th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Free Transit in New Orleans Extended to June 30

Streetcar, bus rides stay free
14 February 2006

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Public transit passengers will be able to continue riding Regional Transit Authority buses and streetcars for free through June 30.

The original cutoff date was March 18, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been paying for the service through the Federal Transit Administration since Oct. 2, has extended that.

Since Hurricane Katrina, RTA ridership has been increasing, for the first time topping 100,000 for the week of Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, with a total of 102,277 passengers. The previous high, for the week of Jan. 22-28, was 96,831 riders.

The RTA averaged 855,000 passengers a week before the storm.

The city's transit authority is operating 30 routes, using 162 drivers, 59 buses and six streetcars. Before the hurricane, the agency operated 65 routes, using 372 buses and 64 streetcars. It had about 1,300 employees, of whom 612 have been re-employed.

Officials plan to resume service on the Nashville Avenue line and to add buses on some other lines as soon as FEMA approves, RTA spokesman Pat Judge said.

Other planned changes include adding early morning service on many lines, which would start about 5 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.; increasing the frequency of service on the Magazine, Tulane and Canal Street bus lines weekdays and the Magazine and St. Charles routes on weekends; and beginning paratransit service for disabled riders at 5 a.m. It now is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 05:09 AM   #2
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New Orleans May Cut Transit Amidst Financial Turmoil

Deep cuts to New Orleans transit system may be on the horizon
27 May 2006

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - This hurricane-battered city may be forced to scale back its public transportation system to a bare-bones operation as it grapples with financial turmoil in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Since Katrina hit last fall, the federal government has been paying to keep the buses and streetcars running. But the federal subsidies end on June 30 and the transit agency, the Regional Transit Authority, is expected to announce layoffs and a reduction in services.

RTA board members say the "worst-case" scenario would be an 80-percent staff reduction from almost 800 workers to 150. RTA employed about 1,340 people before Katrina, but 550 of those workers did not return, officials said.

"It's nasty," said RTA Chairman Jimmy Reiss about cutting staff. "But we're going to do everything we can do to help these people, even if they have to relocate."

Also under the worst-case scenario, the agency would run 17 bus routes and one streetcar route -- and none of them on weekends or at night. The routes would be concentrated in the Central Business District and there would be limited service to Gentilly and Algiers. Buses would not run to Lakeview or eastern New Orleans.

Reiss, though, said such draconian cuts are unlikely.

He believes the agency will be able to count on revenue of $35 million or more, which would be enough to run two streetcar routes and about 25 bus routes throughout the week and at night through much of the city.

Consultants project that revenue this year from fares, sales tax and hotel-motel taxes will be around $30 million, down from about $95 million before Katrina. The system also receives annual federal grants, but it's not sure whether the Federal Transit Administration will downsize that funding.

The system has scaled back dramatically since Katrina. Before the storm, there were 46 bus routes and there are 28 now.

RTA argues that maintaining a robust transit system is critical to the city's recovery because some people won't be able to return unless public transportation is available.

------

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.timespicayune.com
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Old June 4th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #3
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New Orleans troubled transit system gets some relief
3 June 2006

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The city's financially strapped transit system will get more federal aid than once expected, but officials still have not determined how many buses can keep running after the Federal Emergency Management Agency stops underwriting its operations at the end of June.

The Federal Transit Administration said Friday that it will calculate the amount of aid it gives the local system next year on the basis of ridership before Hurricane Katrina, not current figures based on a sharply lower population.

As a result of the move, the system will get about $18.8 million -- a figure that could have been halved had post-Katrina ridership been used.

"Local transit riders shouldn't be punished for a storm they never could have stopped," FTA Deputy Administrator Sandy Bushue said.

FEMA has underwritten the Regional Transit Authority's operations since October, meaning that all rides have been free.

Regional Transit Authority officials have warned that the end of the FEMA money June 30 could reduce already-limited service to a bare-bones system that could be reduced largely to the downtown area with no weekend or night service.

Officials said the FTA funding decision means the system probably will keep operating on nights and weekends with two streetcar routes and about 25 bus routes, some to outlying parts of the city.

During his re-election campaign, Mayor Ray Nagin said he hoped to get an extension of the emergency federal subsidy, and that he had been encouraged by the response from top federal officials. But RTA officials have been proceeding as if the subsidy will end on schedule.

------

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.timespicayune.com
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Old June 4th, 2006, 09:03 AM   #4
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this is just sad news, particularly during this recuperation time. i hope the city is able to figure out a longer term solution to this problem.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #5
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New Orleans buses get extended federal subsidy
23 June 2006

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A scaled-back transit system in New Orleans will continue to operate until Nov. 30 following a decision by the Federal Emergency Management agency to continue a post-Hurricane Katrina subsidy.

The subsidy had been scheduled to end on June 30, but officials with the Regional Transit Authority and FEMA negotiated an extension to keep buses and streetcars running until the end of the current hurricane season.

RTA currently operates 28 bus routes, two streetcar lines and a service for disabled riders. The city's sharply reduced population has cut sales taxes and fares that are used to finance the system. Since Katrina, no fares have been charged.

The system is tentatively scheduled to resume charging fares on Aug. 6.

------

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.timespicayune.com
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Old August 6th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #6
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Free Transit Rides Ending in New Orleans
5 August 2006

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The free ride -- at least on the New Orleans transit system -- has come to an end.

The Regional Transit Authority will resume collecting the $1.25 basic fare on buses and streetcars Sunday for the first times since Hurricane Katrina. The fare was suspended when a scaled-down system started in October.

A federal aid package for the agency, originally set to expire June 30, was extended until Nov. 30, but the new agreement calls for the collection of fares.

"We realize that this decision may pose a hardship for some individuals," RTA spokeswoman Rosalind Cook said. "But most people realize that at this point, it's a necessary step."

The agency is reducing the public transit system to fit New Orleans' smaller post-Katrina population. Last month, the RTA board voted to slash more than 200 employees from its payroll and redraw bus lines to cut costs.

The RTA now employs about 700 workers and operates 28 bus routes, two streetcar lines and its door-to-door service for disabled riders. Before the storm, the agency had 1,357 employees and ran 46 bus routes and a third streetcar route.

Officials said that while fare revenue will help, the long-term financial impact is expected to be minimal. Ridership has grown from several thousand a month late last year to about 674,000 in June, but that is far below the pre-Katrina monthly tally of 3.4 million.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 11:32 PM   #7
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NEW ORLEANS | Public Transport



Streetcars in New Orleans have been an integral part of the city's public transportation network since the first half of the 19th century. The longest of New Orleans' streetcar lines, the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, is the oldest continuously operating street railway system in the world, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Today, the streetcars are operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA).

There are currently three operating streetcar lines in New Orleans: The St. Charles Avenue Line (which is one of the few rail lines in the US to operate 24/7), the Riverfront Line, and the Canal Street Line. The St. Charles Avenue Line is the only line that has operated continuously throughout New Orleans' streetcar history (though service was interrupted after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and resumed only in part in December 2006). All other lines were replaced by bus service in the period from the late 1940s to the early 1960s; preservationists were unable to save the streetcars on Canal Street, but were able to convince the city government to protect the St. Charles Avenue Line by granting it historic landmark status. In the later 20th century, trends began to favor rail transit again. A short Riverfront Line started service in 1988, and service returned to Canal Street in 2004, 40 years after it had been shut down.


Map of the current system

















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Old August 30th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #8
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I wonder if modern streetcars will ever appear in New Orleans.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #9
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Plans for expansion of the current streetcar system. So far only the Loyola Avenue extension is being built to connect to the Amtrak Station.



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Old August 30th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
I wonder if modern streetcars will ever appear in New Orleans.
I doubt it since it would "ruin" the character of the city. The cars on the St. Charles line are historical attractions in their own right.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 11:22 AM   #13
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Old January 24th, 2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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Railway Age
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/...tcar-line.html

Quote:
Newest New Orleans streetcar line to debut
Written by Douglas John Bowen

New Orleans plans to formally open its new 1.5-mile Loyola Avenue streetcar line on Monday, Jan. 28, seven days before the Baltimore Ravens face off against the San Francisco 49ers in the Big Easy during Super Bowl LVII Feb. 3.

"We've been doing test runs for weeks now, and everything is looking good," a spokesman for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority said.

The line runs along its namesake avenue from Canal Street Union Passenger Terminal, served by Amtrak and local buses, with connections available to the city's other streetcar lines.

The project cost $52 million, about $7 million over budget due to unexpected construction obstacles, including historical artifacts, RTA said.

Map as of Jan 28:


image hosted on flickr

Loyola Avenue Streetcar stop by skooksie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Loyola streetcar testing by skooksie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Loyola Avenue Streetcar stop by skooksie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

RTA video display by skooksie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Loyola streetcar by skooksie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Loyola streetcar at Hyatt by skooksie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Loyola streetcar at Poydras by skooksie, on Flickr
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Old January 29th, 2015, 06:05 PM   #15
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From Railway Gazette:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/u...reet-line.html

New Orleans breaks ground on Rampart Street line
29 Jan 2015





USA: A groundbreaking ceremony for the North Rampart Street/St Claude Avenue Streetcar Project in New Orleans took place on January 28.

The 2·6 km on-street route will connect the French Quarter and Treme to the Canal Street and Loyola Avenue lines, with six stops. The project includes a cycle lane along the route.

‘Connecting workers, residents and visitors to the streetcar system is our primary goal’, according to New Orleans Regional Transit Authority Chairman Salvador Longoria

...
Map:

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Old February 9th, 2015, 09:15 AM   #16
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Old March 18th, 2015, 08:34 PM   #18
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Some New Orleans Streetcar photos from Lee Carlson


Along N. Carrollton Ave.
by ebtmikado, on Flickr


Outbound on St. Charles
by ebtmikado, on Flickr


Outbound to Claiborne
by ebtmikado, on Flickr
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Old May 21st, 2015, 06:54 AM   #19
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You want to know a reason why trying to establish a light-rail system (like those seen with Dallas or Portland) within New Orleans is impossible?

Because its rather extensive streetcar system is actually a listed/protected monument. According to this blog entry by Robert Schwandl from October 2014, it is stated that the St. Charles Streetcar Line was chosen to be preserved the way it is, being from the late 19th century. The blog entry also states several problems with that line. The St. Charles Streetcar is also not even fully accessible. So, IMO, if I had a physical disability, I wouldn't want to live near the St. Charles Streetcar Line (or any rail transit line that isn't ADA-compliant. Plus, its surrounding area must have a very low density or something.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 07:35 AM   #20
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