New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
RTA New Orleans.png
New Orleans RTA Building.jpg
RTA building on Canal Street
HeadquartersNew Orleans
Service areaCity of New Orleans
Orleans Parish, Louisiana
Service typePublic transit
Heritage streetcar
Routes30 (bus)
5 (streetcar)
Stops2154 (bus)
286 (streetcar)
Annual ridership18,634,500+ (2013)
Fuel typeDiesel (bus)
Electric (streetcar)
Streetcar network map
Streetcar on Canal Street, April 2007

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA or NORTA) is a public transportation agency based in New Orleans. The agency was established by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1979, and has operated bus and historic streetcar service throughout the city since 1983.[1] With an annual ridership of over 18.6 million riders,[2] the Regional Transit Authority is the largest public transit agency in the state of Louisiana.

Basic rates for all modes, except ferries, are $1.25 per boarding (or $0.40 for 65 & up, disabled & Medicare, $0.50 for 5-17). 24-hour Jazzy Passes are $3, or $1 for youth and $0.80 for seniors, good for all modes including ferries. There are free transfer cards, good for next 120 minutes of unlimited use (round-trips/stopovers prohibited). Under 5 with a limit of three per paid rider can board for free. Transfers to ferries from busses/streetcars require paying difference in rates.

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

City buses were used before Hurricane Katrina hit to transport people to a refuge of last resort, of what's now the Caesars Superdome. Much of the city flooded due to the storm. The NORTA Administration building on Plaza Drive appears to have been in 10 feet (3.0 m) of water. Almost eighty-five percent of the fleet was rendered useless and inoperative; 146 city buses were visible outdoors in the flood at the 2817 Canal St. facility, while only 22 were at 3900 Desire Pky. The 8201 Willow St. facility was one block within the flood but was built above street level. The buses at the flooded facilities were mostly written off.

All but one of the streetcars built in the 1990s and 2000s were severely damaged in the flooding resulting from the hurricane. The historic Perley Thomas-built streetcars of the St. Charles line were undamaged in the disaster. The damaged streetcars, which had been built by hand on the property by local workers, were repaired in the same facility with components from Brookville Equipment Co.[3]

Post-disaster recovery[edit]

As of 2007, service had been restored to certain areas as they became habitable again. However, there was no 24-hour service on any bus or streetcar line, except for the St. Charles streetcar line. Streetcars were returned to the full length of Canal St. and the Riverfront, initially using the historic St. Charles Line streetcars, which had not been damaged, as had the red Canal cars. In 2008, the St. Charles streetcar resumed running the entire length of its route. By early 2009, the red Canal streetcars were repaired and had taken over service on the Canal and Riverfront Lines.

The buses that have been restored to operation have returned to several major thoroughfares, including Elysian Fields Avenue, Esplanade Avenue, Claiborne Avenue, St. Claude Avenue, Judge Perez Drive, General Meyer Avenue, Lapalco Boulevard, Robert E. Lee Boulevard, and the Chef Menteur Highway. And just a few express routes, Morrison Express, Lake Forest Express, Read-Crowder Express and Airport Express, serving both Eastern New Orleans, and New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner, La. have been reinstated so far.

Service enhancements as of October 2, 2016:[4]

Operate the new N. Rampart/St. Claude Avenue streetcar from Elysian Fields to UPT via Rampart St. and Loyola Ave. Loyola/UPT line will no longer operate on Canal St. to the river, nor on Riverfront to the French Quarter stop.

Restore service to Canal Street on the 15-Freret and 28-MLK buses.

Increase service on the Canal and Riverfront streetcar lines.

Continue lines 57-Franklin and 88-St. Claude to Canal St. Operate 57-Franklin via Claiborne Ave. to increase service along N. Claiborne Ave. between Elysian Fields and St. Bernard Ave.

Decrease travel times for riders from farther-out neighborhoods by operating Lines 88-St. Claude and 91-Jackson/Esplanade with fewer stops along Rampart to Canal.

Improve reliability of lines 5-Marigny/Bywater and 55-Elysian Fields with new schedules.

Provide earlier daily trips and later weekend trips on line 80-Desire/Louisa.

New Links Bus Routes[edit]

In September of 2022, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced that they would be almost entirely changing the lines, names, and wait times for the authority starting on September 25, 2022.[5] The changes were made after a survey was conducted containing 3,000 people saying that the old lines had been outdated, and were not convenient for everyday use. For 4 days after the new routes started, RTA offered free boarding on all buses, streetcars, and the Algiers Point Ferry.[6]

The changes were part of the New Links Network, a project designed to upgrade the transit authority to service the people of New Orleans.[7]

Upgrades from the previous lines include more access to jobs and landmarks, reduced wait times, longer service times, and faster transfers/connections.[8]

On July 18, 2022, the authority released Le Pass, a new trip planner and ticket app. It includes tickets and tracking for both RTA and Jefferson Transit busses. On August 29, 2022, RTA shut down ticket buying on the old RTA GoMobile app.[9] Le Pass updated from the old routes on September 25, 2022.

No changes were made to the streetcars or ferries.

Bus and streetcar routes[edit]

Current routes[edit]

  • 2 Riverfront Streetcar
  • 5 Marigny-Bywater
  • 10 Tchoupitoulas
  • 11 Magazine
  • 12 St. Charles Streetcar (24-hour service)
  • 15 Freret
  • 16 S. Claiborne (24-hour service)
  • 27 Louisiana
  • 28 M.L. King
  • 32 Leonidas/Orleans-Treme
  • 39 Tulane (24-hour service)
  • 45 Lakeview
  • 47 Canal Streetcar to Cemeteries
  • 48 Canal Streetcar to City Park/Museum
  • 49 Rampart-St. Claude Streetcar Line (partially served by Canal - Cemeteries due to Hard Rock hotel collapse)
  • 51 St. Bernard – St. Anthony
  • 52 St. Bernard – Paris Ave. (24-hour service)
  • 55 Elysian Fields (24-hour service)
  • 57 Franklin
  • 60 Hayne
  • 62 Morrison Express
  • 63 New Orleans East Owl
  • 64 Lake Forest Express
  • 65 Read-Crowder Express
  • 80 Desire-Louisa
  • 84 Galvez (24-hour service)
  • 88 St. Claude (24-hour service)
  • 90 Carrollton
  • 91 Jackson-Esplanade (24-hour service)
  • 94 Broad (24-hour service)
  • 100 Algiers Owl
  • 101 Algiers Point
  • 102 General Meyer/Whitney
  • 106 Aurora Local
  • 108 Algiers Local
  • 114 General DeGaulle – Sullen (24-hour service)
  • 115 General DeGaulle – Tullis
  • 201 Kenner Loop
  • 202 Airport Express
  • 408 Algiers Local-L.B. Landry

Former routes[edit]

  • 1 Easy Rider Downtown Shuttle
  • 3 Vieux Carré
  • 13 St. Charles Shuttle
  • 14 Jackson
  • 19 Nashville Express
  • 20 Nashville
  • 22 Broadway
  • 24 Napoleon
  • 30 Airline
  • 34 Carrollton Express
  • 40 West End Express
  • 41 West End
  • 42 Canal – Cemeteries
  • 43 Canal Boulevard – Lake Vista
  • 44 Canal Boulevard Express – Lake Vista
  • 45 Canal – City Park
  • 46 Orleans (originally 46 City Park)
  • 48 Esplanade
  • 49 Lakeview
  • 50 St. Bernard – Senate
  • 51 St. Bernard – Lake Terrace
  • 52 St. Bernard – L. C. Simon
  • 53 Gentilly
  • 54 Mirabeau (originally 54 Cartier)
  • 56 Elysian Fields Express
  • 58 Franklin Express
  • 59 Congress
  • 65 Six Flags Express (originally 65 Plaza Park-and-Ride)
  • 66 Chef Menteur Highway Express
  • 67 Crowder
  • 69 New Orleans East Owl Loop
  • 70 Read – Hayne
  • 71 Read – Casino
  • 72 Paris Road Express
  • 73 Oak Island Loop
  • 80 Louisa
  • 81 Almonaster
  • 82 Desire
  • 83 Lower Ninth Ward
  • 85 Barracks
  • 88 St. Claude – Barracks
  • 89 St. Claude – Refinery
  • 96 Broad Rapid
  • 97 Broad – Oak Island
  • 98 Broad – Village de L'est
  • 99 Broad – NASA
  • 103 General Meyer/Pace
  • 104 Algiers Park-and-Ride
  • 105 Aurora
  • 106 Aurora Express
  • 107 General DeGaulle
  • 202 Kenner Park-and-Ride


The body in charge of making major decisions for the RTA is the Board of Commissioners. The board consists of appointees by the Mayor of New Orleans and of some appointees by the President of Jefferson Parish. The RTA Board has the overall authority for transit in New Orleans including setting fares, overseeing service and operations, developing operating budgets, approving each year's annual transportation development plan, and deciding upon capital purchases and expansions.

Under contract to the RTA Board of Commissioners, Transdev formerly managed all day-to-day aspects of the transit agency on behalf of the RTA Board. Transdev handled operations and service, safety issues, vehicle maintenance, customer care, route design and scheduling, human resources, administration, ridership growth, capital planning, grant administration, communications, purchasing, and other agency functions. Transdev was under contract to and reported to the RTA Board of Commissioners. The company operates public transportation for some 5,000 transit authorities around the world. Transdev (then Veolia Transport) was hired in 2008.[10]

As of December 20, 2020, Transdev no longer manages the RTA. All bus, streetcar, and paratransit operators, and also maintenance personnel, are now employees of RTA. Ferry services continue to be operated for RTA by LabMar Ferry Services.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RTA History". Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "The streetcar makes a comeback in New Orleans - CBS News Video". Archived from the original on 2013-02-01.
  4. ^ "October 2, Service Changes for Bus And Street Car Lines". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "New Orleans Regional Transit Authority - New Bus Routes". Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  6. ^ "New Orleans Regional Transit Authority - New Orleans RTA to offer four days of free rides for new bus routes implementation". Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  7. ^ Hart, Katherine; Messenger, Uptown. "New Links reimagines the region's public transit. Here's what's in the works for Uptown". Uptown Messenger. Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  8. ^ "New Orleans Regional Transit Authority - System Overview". Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  9. ^ "New Orleans Regional Transit Authority - Le Pass". Retrieved 2022-09-18.
  10. ^ Donze, Frank. "New management team to run city's Regional Transit Authority". Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "New Orleans RTA". New Orleans RTA. New Orleans RTA. Retrieved July 17, 2021.

External links[edit]