New North Rampart Street/ St. Claude Avenue Streetcar Back On Track

City streetcars are back on track on Rampart Street for the first time since 1949.

NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, October 3, 2016, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in New Orleans officials joined New Orleans residents and business owners to celebrate the opening of the North Rampart Street/ St. Claude Avenue Streetcar line extension. Back on track for the first time since 1949, streetcars are now operating along the North Rampart Street/ St. Claude Avenue corridor for 1.6 miles from Canal Street to Elysian Fields Avenue serving the French Quarter, Iberville, Treme-Lafitte, Seventh Ward and Marigny. This project, funded by a Series 2010 Sales Tax Revenue Bond, was completed on schedule and within its’ original construction budget of $41.2 million.

         “It’s been almost 70 years since buses replaced streetcars along the Rampart and St. Claude corridor, and we have now come full circle,” said Mayor Landrieu. “We know that where there is quality transit service, there will be economic development. Most recently, over $2 billion of private development can be credited in part to the streetcar line that launched along Loyola Avenue in 2013. As a result of this most recent investment in infrastructure a renaissance is happening along the historic Rampart and St. Claude corridor.”

         RTA and City officials predict even more reinvestment in this historic neighborhood as a result of the successful completion of this project.

         RTA Board Chairwoman Sharonda R. Williams said, “Streetcars are iconic symbols of our city, and the RTA wants to continue to expand streetcar service in the coming years. We hope to continue extending the track along St. Claude Avenue as funding becomes available.” Williams continued, “The RTA is committed to expanding the entire intermodal network of transit services that encompasses rail, buses, paratransit and ferry offering residents a variety of options to access employment, education, entertainment and healthcare.”

         City Council President Stacy Head said, “The expansion of streetcar service along Rampart St. and St. Claude Ave. is truly a cause for celebration. This significant investment of federal funding for our infrastructure will ensure that New Orleans’ transit system serves our residents who rely on it to go to work, school, and elsewhere. Its proximity the French Quarter and Central Business District will also encourage our many visitors to explore more of the city.”

         District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, “The opening of the North Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue Streetcar line is great for the citizens of New Orleans. It will help revive the North Rampart corridor and provide a link from Elysian Fields to Canal Street. This line runs along the edges of the French Quarter on its way to some of the most historic neighborhoods in New Orleans, such as the Tremé, Marigny, and St. Roch neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, Chair of the Transportation and Airport Committee. “The citizens of New Orleans deserve access to affordable, reliable, and convenient public transportation. This line does exactly that. It promotes livable communities by enhancing the connectivity of our streetcar networks.”

         The red streetcars that serve the Canal Street and Loyola Avenue lines will also run on the Rampart/ St. Claude Line, which will operate from the Union Passenger Terminal on Loyola Avenue to Elysian Fields Avenue every 20 minutes. Bus service remains along the line, also operating on 20-minute headways, providing transportation every 10 minutes along the corridor. The line is in operation from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. The line is accessible to people with mobility impairments.

         The six double-sided, lighted stops are situated at Conti Street, St. Ann Street, Ursulines Avenue, Esplanade Avenue, Pauger Street and Elysian Fields Avenue. Historic light poles along North Rampart Street were refurbished, with replicas replacing the previous cobra-style lights along St. Claude Avenue.

         To further commemorate the occasion, a public celebration is planned from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, inside Armstrong Park with live music and free food and beverages from area vendors while supplies last.

        

Public Transit Service Improvements

         On Sunday, October 2, RTA implemented significant service improvements to the bus and streetcar schedules and routes.

         Prior to approving these improvements, the RTA engaged in a public outreach process, hosting a series of open houses throughout the community and a public hearing to discuss proposals to optimize bus and streetcar service routes.

 

• Additional buses on select routes will help to minimize delays in the bus schedules.

• The 80-Desire/ Louisa will return to its original route on Press Street and Chef Menteur Highway. The 88-St. Claude bus will continue downtown with limited stops between Elysian Fields and Canal Street with the goal of decreasing travel times for commuters.

• Frequency will increase at peak hours of the day with line 47-Canal/Cemeteries streetcar scheduled for 10-minute wait times between vehicles. The North Rampart/St. Claude Streetcar will now run from Union Passenger Terminal (UPT) to Elysian Fields every 20 minutes.

• Bus service on the 15-Freret line and the 28-MLK line will continue to Canal Street providing the passengers with requested direct downtown access.

• A route change to the 57-Franklin line will add service to the Claiborne corridor. Southern University New Orleans students will have more options that can efficiently get to and from Elks and Canal via line 57-Franklin or line 80-Desire/Louisa. From Claiborne Avenue, rides will be able to catch a bus to Canal and Elks every 15 minutes. These route changes also significantly increase covered between St. Bernard and Elysian Fields with a bus every 20 minutes in that area.

 

         For more information about the Rampart/ St. Claude Streetcar Line and the celebration.

 

 

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