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Message from the RTA Chairwoman 02-13

Message from the Chairwoman of the RTA

Every year in our budget process we face critical decisions about providing more and better public transit services in the City of New Orleans. We are charged as a public agency to provide as much service as we can, and serve as many citizens as we can with the dollars that we have. Every year we face difficult choices and answer hard questions about how much, how many, how often and sometimes the only question left to be answered is how. It would be easy if all we had to do is more, but it's never just about more service – it's about more efficiency, increased access, better reliability, improved cost-effectiveness, enhanced safety and always a commitment to equitable service to all citizens in all neighborhoods.

For 2013 the RTA's budget offers the citizens of New Orleans "more and better" – efficiency, access, reliability, cost-effectiveness, safety and equity. In the Central Business District (CBD) the Loyola–UPT Streetcar Line will officially open to passengers on January 28, 2013 providing weekday service every 15 minutes and weekend service every 30 minutes with extended service to the French Market Riverfront Streetcar station. The existing Canal Streetcar service will run every 30 minutes, increasing accessibility and reducing the wait time by 15 minutes. The Canal Cemeteries Streetcar line serving the Mid-City area will also be enhanced, ensuring consistency of the wait time between stops. Wait time on the Tulane bus line serving both the Carrollton and Mid-City communities will be reduced from 20 to 15 minute intervals, connecting these riders - faster and more efficiently - to the new Loyola-UPT streetcar line.

In Central City we're combining the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) and the Napoleon bus lines, adding more service and more evening access for the B.W. Cooper, Marrero Commons and Guste Communities and connecting both Central City and Uptown neighborhoods to the Loyola-UPT Streetcar line. Riders on the Freret bus line will also have coordinated access with the Loyola - UPT Streetcar to better ensure that our new streetcar line connects our citizens to the places where they work, play, learn and worship. As well, the Magazine line will have more afternoon service for residents of and visitors to Uptown neighborhoods.

New Orleans East will see improved services on both the Morrison and Lake Forest lines, with a 15 minute reduction in wait times on both lines during peak hours. In Gentilly we're increasing the reliability of the Broad Street bus line, replacing the regular buses with the larger articulated models, increasing rider capacity by 20 seats per vehicle. The Galvez Line will be extended to St. Claude Avenue to give Lower Ninth Ward residents improved access to connections into the Bywater, Marigny and CBD commercial corridor.

We're replacing the underutilized Algiers Loop with the Franklin/Federal City line to better serve our Algiers riders needing access to and from the West Bank of Orleans and Jefferson parishes. As well, based on our rider engagement feedback, the return bus services from Algiers will be moved from Rampart back to Elk Place.

In 2014 we'll be breaking ground on the Rampart Streetcar line, enhancing service in the Treme, French Quarter and Marigny neighborhoods with an eye toward Poland Avenue and Bywater.

More is not always better – sometimes it's just more. But at the RTA our commitment is to "more and better" – access, reliability, safety, cost effectiveness and equity for all citizens in all neighborhoods.

For more information about the service changes planned for 2013 go to www.norta.com or call the RTA Rideline at 504-248-3900.

 

Barbara C. Major

Chairwoman

Regional Transit Authority Board of Commissioners

 

RTA Facts - 2013 Service Improvements
New Loyola Avenue - UPT Streetcar Line
Reduced wait time on the Canal Streetcar
More evening service on MLK Blvd.
More afternoon service on Magazine Street
Reduced wait time on Morrison & Lake Forest in N.O. East
More seating capacity on Broad Street in Gentilly
Improved 9th Ward access to the CBD

Improved service in Algiers

Reprinted from letter for The New Orleans Tribune, January 2013

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