Transportation

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bike Easy is looking for some 'ambassadors' to advocate for cyclists and pedestrians

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Bike Easy members gather at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
  • Bike Easy members gather at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Transit advocacy group Bike Easy has put out a call for applications for its Complete Streets Ambassador program, which trains community members to advocate for cyclists, pedestrians and people who take public transit. The three-month, relatively low-commitment program accepts applications through Feb. 2.

After taking part in a weekend training, Complete Streets Ambassador participants will spend about three hours each week working on neighborhood projects, telling their transportation story at community meetings and collaborating on Bike Easy initiatives. It'd probably be a good way to dip a toe in community organizing and to learn about grassroots activism.

Ambassadorship applicants should regularly walk, bike or ride the bus in the greater metropolitan area and have an interest in developing neighborhood groups. People of color and people with low incomes are especially encouraged to apply; a few small ($400) stipends are available.

Previous Complete Streets Ambassadors built a pop-up protected bikeway on St. Bernard Avenue and lobbied for protected bike lanes in Kenner neighborhoods.

The program is part of Bike Easy's greater Complete Streets initiative, which encourages more equitable transit in New Orleans neighborhoods. "Complete streets" are designed with the safety and well-being of every kind of transit user in mind, including pedestrians, people on bikes and motorists.

An application for the program is available online. Applications also can be submitted to rob@bikeeasy.org or to Bike Easy's offices at 2100 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Streetcars, buses to cross City Park Avenue into new Cemeteries Transit Center starting Sunday

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 8:15 PM

COURTESY NEW ORLEANS RTA
  • COURTESY NEW ORLEANS RTA

After months of construction at the intersection of Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue, the Cemeteries Transit Center will be fully functional beginning Sun., Jan. 7, according to information provided by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA).

The intersection was reopened to cars and bicycles in early December, but the RTA continued to test the streetcar tracks throughout the month.

A formal grand opening will be held at 10 a.m. Fri. Jan. 5 at the transit center,

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Don't forget, you can catch the ferry late on New Year's Eve

Posted By on Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 3:09 PM

PHOTO CREDIT: MEGAN BRADEN-PERRY
  • PHOTO CREDIT: MEGAN BRADEN-PERRY

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has announced extended hours for the Canal Street ferry on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31). The ferry will run until 1:15 a.m. Jan. 1, 2018 to accommodate New Year's celebrants and Sugar Bowl crowds.

Last departure from Algiers Point to Canal Street takes place at 1 a.m. Jan. 1, 2018. Last departure from Canal Street to Algiers Point is at 1:15 a.m. The ferry will cease operations for a short period during the midnight fireworks display, as required by the U.S. Coast Guard.

There are some other adjustments to RTA services over the holiday. Delays are expected between noon and 4 p.m. Sunday on bus lines 15-Freret, 16-S. Claiborne, 27-Louisiana, 28-MLK and 94-Broad due to a second line. Riders on bus routes 5-Marigny and 55-Elysian Fields should anticipate route adjustments and potential delays through the weekend, attributed to preparations for Allstate Fan Fest on Decatur Street. A bus currently is servicing the St. Charles streetcar line between Calliope Street and Canal Street because of scaffolding repairs.

Otherwise, as per RTA's holiday schedule, buses and streetcars should run according to their usual Saturday timetables on New Year's Eve and Sunday schedules on New Year's Day.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

RTA unveils Canal Street ferry terminal design, promises public will drive bridge plans

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 9:59 PM

A rendering of the Canal Street ferry terminal.
  • A rendering of the Canal Street ferry terminal.

At a two-part meeting Dec. 12, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) presented a finalized, futuristic design for its new Canal Street ferry terminal and began gathering public comment for a nearby pedestrian bridge intended to help ferry riders cross the nearby New Orleans Public Belt Railroad tracks.

The meeting at New Orleans Public Library's main branch seemed designed to counteract blowback RTA incurred earlier this year, when members of the public criticized the organization for what they said was a failure to incorporate input from riders and residents in the terminal planning process.

"We want to hear what your vision is, what your hopes are, what your desires are," Bright Moments CEO Bill Rouselle, who is handling the project's public relations, said at the meeting. "This is the beginning of that conversation. ... We're not going to satisfy everybody, but we're going to hear from everybody."

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RTA: One more week until Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue intersection opens

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 1:00 PM

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The intersection at Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue should open to traffic next week (Dec. 4-8), RTA officials say — slightly later than was previously announced.

At an October RTA Board of Commissioners meeting, Transdev director of infrastructure Martin Pospisil announced he expected the project to wrap up by the end of November. In a brief interview Nov. 29, Transdev director of marketing and customer experience Candice Marti said project engineers are still working to finalize testing, including tests of signals at the intersection.

She says the intersection will open "as early as we can" next week, and that the timeline falls within the transit organization's contingency plans for this project.

"We don't consider [this] a delay ... we are still technically on schedule," Marti says. "We're just trying to be cautious."

Because testing is still in progress, a firm date for the intersection's opening has not yet been announced. Unfavorable test results or bad weather could push the opening back.

The intersection has been closed since July as part of the Cemeteries Center Transit Project, which will extend the Canal streetcar line to bus shelters across City Park Avenue. According to Marti, rail service on that part of the streetcar line is still projected to begin in January.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Your last chance to weigh in on RTA's 20-year plan is Nov. 13-14

Posted By on Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM

JEANIE RIESS
  • JEANIE RIESS

Riders and the general public have one last chance to give feedback on Regional Transit Authority's (RTA's) Strategic Mobility Plan Nov. 13-14.

At two open houses — one in Kenner, one in the CBD — RTA will unveil a draft version of its plan to revamp public transit in the area over the next 20 years. The final plan is scheduled for release in December.

People who attend the meetings are invited to comment on aspects of the draft plan, including corridors RTA has singled out for faster, more frequent service; a new mobile app to track buses and streetcars in real time; potential partnerships with ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft and more. The proposed changes are partially based on feedback from riders via online surveys, one-on-one conversations and public events held earlier this year.

A draft revealed at a recent RTA Board of Commissioners meeting laid out ambitions to more than double its ridership via planned improvements.

Meetings take place at New Orleans Public Library's main branch (219 Loyola Ave.) at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 and at Kenner Senior Center (641 Compromise St., Kenner) at 6 p.m. Nov. 14.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

RTA: Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue intersection to open in November

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM

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At a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Board of Commissioners meeting held Oct. 24, Transdev director of infrastructure Martin Pospisil announced he expects the intersection at Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue to open to traffic by the end of November.

The intersection has been closed since July for work on the Cemeteries Transit Center Project, which will extend the Canal streetcar line across City Park Avenue toward Canal Boulevard transit shelters to facilitate rider transfers to connecting bus lines. Pospisil said at this point, the rail connection for the streetcar line is 90 percent in place, and the surrounding intersection is on track to open late next month.

There's still work to be done on the project — in December, RTA will test the line and  train streetcar operators and bus drivers. But Pospisil says the project currently is on time and under budget, and if the weather holds out (i.e., no significant rainfall), he anticipates that work will be completed on schedule.

Streetcar service is expected to begin at the intersection during the first week in January. A drone video of site progress is available online.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bike Easy's bicycle second line returns Oct. 8

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Bike Easy members gather at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
  • Bike Easy members gather at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Bike Easy and Bike Law Louisiana will host an 8-mile bicycle second line during this weekend's Gentilly Fest.

Participants in the family-friendly daytime ride, which departs from fest site Pontchartrain Park Playground, will bike in a procession following the Free Agents Brass Band. The ride proceeds at a moderate pace and stops at two locations along the route, including a stop at Daddy's Donuts, then returns to the Gentilly Fest grounds by 1:15 p.m. There's also a pre-ride group stretching activity led by yoga instructor Stephanie Perin.

Past bicycle second lines have explored other New Orleans neighborhoods, including Mid-City.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the ride departs at 11 a.m. Sunday. It's free to attend.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New Orleans' free rideshare service relaunches as 'GeauxRide NOLA'

Posted By on Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 3:43 PM

BART EVERSON / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • BART EVERSON / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

With the relaunch of its free, online rideshare service — once called GreenRide Connect, now called GeauxRide NOLA — New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (NORPC) hopes to turn New Orleans into a carpooling city.

NORPC public transportation planner Nik Richard says the program connects both potential carpoolers and people who need a ride with drivers who live or work nearby. It's intended to help New Orleanians get to work, cut down on transportation and parking costs and plug the gaps in neighborhoods which are intermittently served by public transit.

"[It] give[s] folks another option, maybe where public transportation doesn't give them the needed connectivity," he says. "Maybe [a] neighbor can bring them to a bus stop; maybe [a] neighbor can bring them halfway and they can catch the bus for the other half. ... Maybe they both have a car and they want to alternate [driving] days."

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Monday, September 25, 2017

RTA asks for rider input via online survey

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 2:55 PM

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Early this month, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) hosted a series of public workshops soliciting input for its Strategic Mobility Plan, the initiative intended to revamp public transit in the city. If you missed those meetings, RTA has posted a digital version of its rider survey online — it's up right now and will be on the web until Oct. 12.

The short survey asks riders to rank which areas of the RTA they'd like to see improved (for example, newer, greener buses; cleaner, modernized bus stops; and enhanced night and weekend ride options are all on the list). Riders also can experiment with a simplified budget for the public transit system, vote on preferred "major transit corridors" and offer any other feedback or comments.

The survey shouldn't take more than a few minutes to complete, or slightly longer if you add written comments. It probably works best on a desktop or tablet.

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