Major changes to 20 of the Regional Transit Authority’s streetcar and bus lines will be considered at an October 10, 2012 public hearing and a series of public workshops are underway. The proposed service changes are described below.
- Make Canal Street between Marais and N. Robertson Streets the permanent transfer station for all downtown routes. This site currently serves as the temporarily relocated transfer station that previously was located at Tulane Avenue and Elks Place and prior to that at Canal Street and N. Rampart Street.
- Combine the #24 Napoleon and #28 Martin Luther King buses into one line and terminating the new line at Union Passenger Terminal requiring passengers traveling to Canal Street to transfer to the Loyola Streetcar.
- Terminate the #15 Freret bus line at Union Passenger Terminal requiring passengers traveling to Canal Street to transfer to the Loyola Streetcar.
- Introducing the Loyola Streetcar line that will run between the foot of Canal Street and Union Passenger Terminal on weekdays and between the French Market and Union Passenger Terminal on weekends.
- Extend the #84 Galvez bus to connect to St. Claude Avenue.
Transport for NOLA has significant concerns with the RTA’s proposals– most of which stem from the changes proposed to the CBD transfer station. More than 14,000 transit riders pass through transfer point daily. The RTA’s system is designed so that the majority of routes do not cross Canal Street making transfers between uptown and downtown lines a necessity for most transit riders. Transport for NOLA believes that the CBD transfer station should be centrally located, facilitate easy connections to Jefferson Parish Transit buses and the new Loyola Streetcar line, and include design features such as ample shade and seating, information kiosks, next bus arrival signage, restrooms, concession areas and more. Specifically, our concerns are listed below:
- Inferior Location. The proposed permanent transfer station location was initially established as a detour route while construction on the Loyola Streetcar line displaced transit riders. It sits at the very edge of the CBD in a location surrounded by large surface parking lots and few nearby services or destinations. Maintaining the transfer station in this location will make it difficult for transit riders to reach jobs and other destinations in the CBD and French Quarter without walking significant distances or transferring to the already overcrowded Canal Streetcar line.
- Overcrowding of Canal Streetcar. Because of the inferior location, more transit riders will have to transfer to the Canal Streetcar line to get to their destinations. The Canal Streetcar line had more than 250,000 riders in June 2012 and is one of the RTA’s most traveled lines. It also suffers from overcrowding, poor on-time performance, slow travel through the CBD and lengthy boarding due to the number of riders that board in the CBD.
- Eliminates easy transfers between JeT and RTA. Jefferson Parish Transit bus lines terminate at Poydras Street or Tulane Avenue and do not continue to Canal Street eliminating easy transfers between JeT and RTA lines.
- Unsafe crossings. The proposed location requires transit riders connecting between bus lines and the Canal Streetcar to cross Canal Street without high visibility crosswalks or traffic signals at N. Villere and N. Robertson streets to ensure transit rider safety.
- Inadequate design. While the proposed transfer station location features wide sidewalks and is equipped with six bus shelters, it does not include design features to accommodate the volume of transit riders that pass through there daily. It lacks the ample shade and seating, information kiosks, restrooms and concession areas that transfer stations in similarly sized cities provide.
- Misses connection to Loyola Streetcar. The Loyola Streetcar line is just the first phase of a larger downtown streetcar corridor that will bring streetcar service along N. Rampart St. and St. Claude Ave. The transfer station at Marais and N. Robertson Streets completely misses the opportunity to sync up existing transit service with the new streetcar line.
- Makes multiple transfers necessary. Rides on the #15 Freret bus and the new combined #24 Napoleon and #38 Martin Luther King bus line will terminate at Union Passenger Terminal. For riders that want to connect to a downtown bus line, they would first have to transfer to the Loyola Streetcar line, walk or ride the Canal Streetcar line to get to the proposed transfer station and then connect to a downtown bus line.
Transport for NOLA encourages transit riders to learn more and take action by showing up at the public workshops and the October 10th RTA public hearing.
Finding information about the public workshops, public hearings and proposal details on the RTA’s website is difficult which is why we’ve scanned in the ‘Rider Alert’ and are providing direct links to the RTA presentation on the changes. Additionally, proposed route timetables and other information can be found here.
The RTA is holding public workshops and a public hearing on the following days and times:
Monday, October 1
- 7:00am – 10:00am, Canal and Marais Street bus stop
- 4:30pm – 7:00pm, Norman Mayer Library, 3001 Gentilly Blvd.
Tuesday, October 2
- 4:30pm – 7:00pm, East New Orleans Library, 5641 Read Blvd.
Wednesday, October 3
- 7:00am – 10:00am, Cemeteries Streetcar stop
- 4:30pm – 7:00pm, New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 Saint Claude Avenue, Room 254
Thursday, October 4
- 4:30pm – 7:00pm, Trinity Lutheran Church, 5227 N. Claiborne avenue
Monday, October 8
- 4:30pm – 7:00pm Rosa Keller Library, 4300 S. Broad Street
Tuesday, October 9
- 7:00am – 10:00am, Canal and N. Villere bus stop
- 4:30pm – 7:00pm, Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive
Wednesday October 10, 2012
- PUBLIC HEARING – 6:00pm, RTA Headquarters, 2817 Canal Street
Comments to the Regional Transit Authority can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Impacted streetcar and bus lines:
- Loyola Avenue Streetcar
- Canal Streetcar
- Riverfront Streetcar
- #15 Freret Bus
- #24 Napoleon Bus
- #28 Martin Luther King Bus
- #39 Tulane Bus
- #51 and 52 St. Bernard Bus
- #84 Galvez
- #88 St. Claude
- #100 Algiers Owl
- #101 Algiers Loop
- #102 General Meyer
- #114 and #115 General De Gaulle