NEW ORLEANS – Beginning Sunday, June 20, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will begin a phased return to normal bus and streetcar operations. The initial phase will include the restoration of full service on all lines during daily peak travel hours, 6 – 9 am and 3 – 6 pm. The service change comes as more residents are vaccinated and the city is seeing a decline in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and an increase in employment demand.
In addition, the agency will also adjust frequency on the 12– St. Charles streetcar route, the 88 – St. Claude/ Jackson-Barracks, and the 91 – Jackson/Esplanade. Each route will have adjusted frequencies during peak travel times that include:
12-St. Charles Streetcar
• Peak service reduces frequency from 9 minutes to 12 (Monday – Sunday, 12 pm – 6 pm)
88-St. Claude/ Jackson-Barracks
• Peak service increases frequency from 20 minutes to 15 minutes (6 am – 6 pm)
• Off peak service increases frequency from 60 minutes to 30 minutes
• Weekday peak service increases frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes (6 am – 6 pm)
• Weekend peak services increases frequency from 60 minutes to 30 minutes (6 am – 6 pm)
These changes come as the agency’s first implementation of the New Links network redesign recommendations. The project whose aim was to provide better transit connectivity throughout the region as riders traverse across parish lines was adopted by the RTA Board of Commissioners in February 2021. RTA will continue studying the feasibility of added recommendations and will work to implement additional service changes throughout 2021 and into 2022.
The agency has operated on a reduced service model since the RTA Board of Commissioners adopted the Internal State of Emergency Policy on March 24, 2020. Bus and streetcar services were reduced, up to 50% at the height of the pandemic outbreak. As local restrictions eased, the agency began operating on a daily Saturday schedule. With more residents returning to work and increases in transit demand citywide, the phased return will ensure that riders have steady access to mobility options.
Riders are reminded that masks are required while onboard vehicles at all times. For more information, including updated route timetables, visit www.RTAforward.org or call Rideline at 504-248-3900.