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On public transportation: Streetcars are a great way to see the city. The St. Charles line runs from Canal Street to the intersection of Claiborne and Carrollton avenues; along the way it passes the Garden District, Audubon Park, and Tulane and Loyola universities. The Riverfront line skirts the French Quarter along the Mississippi, from Esplanade Avenue to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Some Canal line streetcars make a straight shot from the Quarter to the cemeteries at City Park Avenue; others take a spur at Carrollton Avenue that goes to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
At present, bus travel in New Orleans isn't extremely efficient (although the Regional Transit Authority has pledged to update its aging fleet), but a few lines are of use. The Magazine bus runs the length of shopping mecca Magazine Street, from Canal and Camp streets to the Audubon Zoo entrance at the far edge of Audubon Park. The Esplanade bus serves City Park, and drops Jazz Fest passengers off a few blocks from the Fair Grounds.
Fares for streetcars and buses are $1.25 ($1.50 for express lines); unlimited-ride passes are available for one day ($3; available on bus and streetcar); unlimited 3-day and 31-day passes ($9 and $55) are available at some hotels and grocery stores, and at Walgreens. For route maps, timetables, and more information, visit www.norta.com .
By car: If you don't plan to drive outside the city limits, you probably won't need a car—you'll save money traveling by streetcar, cab, and on foot. If you do decide to drive, keep in mind that some streets are in ragged condition, traffic lights routinely malfunction, and parking in the Quarter is tight (and parking regulations vigorously enforced).
By taxi: Taxis are often the most convenient way to move around, and drivers are used to short trips, so don't hesitate to grab a cab if you're leery about walking back to your hotel at night. Most locals will recommend United Cabs, Yellow Checker, and Veterans. Don't get into an unlicensed, unmarked "gypsy" cab. Rates are $2 per mile or 20¢ for every 40 seconds of waiting, plus a base of $3.50; each additional passenger is $1.
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