Take a Peek at RTA’s 20-year Plan at Final Public Open Houses
NEW ORLEANS – Area residents, riders, employers, and other stakeholders will get a peek at what might be in store for the future of public transportation at open house-style meetings on Nov. 13 and 14.
For the past year, people throughout the metropolitan area have been imagining ways to improve the existing public transportation system and incorporate new technologies and transportation options. The Regional Transit Authority/Transdev has engaged the public in developing a Strategic Mobility Plan that will guide public transportation initiatives over the next two decades.
Now, the public will have the opportunity to review the draft plan and provide input one last time before the consultant team, led by Nelson Nygaard, finalizes the plan in December. The open house-style meetings are scheduled as follows:
- 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, New Orleans Library, Main Branch, 219 Loyola Ave.
- 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 14, Kenner Senior Center, 641 Compromise St.
Providing more reliable and faster, more frequent service is a major priority of the draft plan. The plan identifies details such as the ideal corridors for fast, frequent service, regardless of whether that service would be light rail, bus rapid transit, or more streetcar service. It also focuses on introducing new technologies and transportation options. This includes potential partnerships with companies like Uber or Lyft and continued coordination with city’s bike share program.
“Technology is changing so fast,” said Transdev Vice President and General Manager Justin T. Augustine III. “It makes it possible to do things we could only dream about 10 years ago. We want to embrace technology in a way that will improve mobility throughout the metropolitan area.”
One of the initiatives already in the works is an updated mobile app where riders can track buses and streetcars in real-time. The launch of the new program is scheduled for the first half of 2018.
“The planning process has been comprehensive and inclusive,” Augustine said. “But the hard work will begin during the implementation phase because addressing the mobility needs of the entire metro area will require extensive capital investments and increased operational cost, partnerships with employment centers and universities, and regional cooperation.”
To date, the planning process has involved more than 4,000 people in one-on-one conversations, community meetings, pop-ups at transit stops and other public gathering places, and via online surveys.