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Friday, September 20, 2013

Algiers-Canal Street ferry moving to pedestrian-only

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Update, 4:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced the pedestrian-only ferry service will be delayed indefinitely. It was scheduled to replace the current Algiers-Canal Street ferry on Sept. 23. A statement reads, "The switch to pedestrian-only service will be delayed until further notice."

The Algiers-Canal Street ferry system’s new fares were approved, and the transfer of responsibility from the Louisiana Department of Transportation (DOTD) to the local New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is planned before the end of the year. Meanwhile, DOTD announced that the ferry will only transport pedestrians beginning Monday, Sept. 23.

The M/V Louis B. Porterie ferry served the route, but that boat was replaced with the M/V Arminger, which is a smaller vessel that can’t accommodate cars. DOTD will use the former vessel for backup on its other routes.

RTA proposed its fare structure following a public hearing from riders and Algiers residents and business owners, and its board approved the fares Aug. 13. On Aug. 22, New Orleans City Council unanimously approved the fares (which will look like this), with plans to accommodate vehicles.

RTA communications director Patrice Bell Mercadel said RTA is "working everyday to get through the transition period" and waiting for approval and authorization of its plan with DOTD. She said RTA hopes to takeover the ferries and implement the fares by December. However, she said it's still "so early on in the planning stages" to answer whether the ferries will accommodate cars once RTA takes over.

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