The RTA is changing bus routes. In less than a week, more than 30,000 riders will see some changes to their bus route. It’s part of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s major overhaul of its bus network to accommodate areas with higher transit-dependent populations. Areas impacted include New Orleans East and Algiers. The new bus routes will start on Sunday, September 25. RTA will provide riders with shorter trips, reduced wait times, and increased access to jobs, grocery stores, healthcare, and other essential services.
Free Bus Rides
The RTA is offering a four-day free fare promotion to allow riders to adjust to their new routes without having to pay for their trips. Beginning Sunday, September 25 through Wednesday, September 28, riders can board – without payment – all RTA buses, streetcars, and Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry.
The bus route changes are the first significant effort since the agency recovered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans has changed a lot since then, including where people live and where they need to go. And these new routes allow the RTA to serve our community better today.
The new bus routes were developed through a two-year study. RTA partnered with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. This study, known as New Links, reviewed travel patterns, community preferences, and ways to better connect transit throughout the region.
The upcoming changes reflect the extensive feedback collected during the New Links study. The study had input from over 3,000 riders through surveys, meetings, and ride-alongs.
Bus Service Improvements in Gentilly, New Orleans East, and Algiers
RTA says the agency’s existing network does not meet riders’ current transit needs. This is especially true in communities that are furthest from downtown. The agency has limited existing resources, including a budget and the number of buses and operators. So the agency redistributed the City’s bus service to areas where riders need them most. These route changes provide better overall travel times, access and flexibility. Here are some bus service improvements riders in Gentilly, New Orleans East, and Algiers can expect:
- The new routes include direct cross-town route options for Gentilly, connecting riders to Central City, Mid-City, Hollygrove, and Uptown.
- Gentilly riders will also have a new higher frequency connection to the downtown hub by using the 55-Elysian Fields.
- 55- Elysian Fields will have a 20-minute frequency and serve the Gentilly Woods Hub, enabling a transfer to several different routes serving the East, Mid-City, and Uptown.
- The new neighborhood routes significantly improve access to nearby grocery stores, NORD facilities, hospitals, community clinics, and other essential services within New Orleans East and Algiers – where surveyed riders told RTA they needed increased local service.
- RTA has also increased the number of buses on routes that go downtown by adding more buses to most used routes, reducing wait times, and making transfers easier.
- The agency is adding more late-night and overnight routes to provide better services for our hospitality and healthcare workers who rely on RTA buses to get to and from their jobs.
- RTA has expanded bus services to underserved communities such as Cutoff and Tullis in Algiers. They will have a bus service every 15 minutes instead of having to wait every 45 minutes or more.
- The new 103-General Meyers local route will be scheduled to line up with our ferry service, giving riders an additional option to get downtown.
Related: State Budget Uncertain
The RTA is changing bus routes. The RTA kicked off an awareness campaign in early August with transit ambassadors talking to riders at some of the busiest bus stops. The transit ambassadors are meeting riders where they are – at the bus stops –across the city almost every day of the week ahead of September 25. Learn more about the new routes by visiting RTA’s website at www.norta.com/september25, calling RIDELINE at 504-248-3900 or texting “RTA Updates” to 41411.