The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA), which receives the proceeds of a .75 percent local sales tax, projects a $4 million bump in its 2014 proposed budget from its 2013 adopted budget. RTA General Manager Justin Augustine told the New Orleans City Council that local transit riders should expect to see a fare hike, which hasn't happened since 1999. Current bus and streetcar fare is $1.25.
RTA anticipates collecting $57.7 million in sales tax and $18.9 million in fares, while expanding its services by 30 percent. To cover a $10 million deficit next year, RTA will dip into its $21 million in reserves — halving its reserves by year's end. Augustine also previewed the North Rampart Street streetcar line. RTA will review final design plans for the streetcar line at the end of 2013 and host public meetings at the beginning of 2014 before breaking ground in the middle of the year.