Bus and Streetcar Travel

Getting Around by Bus and Streetcar

Within New Orleans, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates a public bus and streetcar (not "trolley") system with interconnecting lines throughout the city. The buses are generally clean and on time, and run regularly from about 6 am to 6 pm. Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited on RTA vehicles. Buses are wheelchair accessible, as are the Canal Street, Riverfront, and Loyola Avenue streetcar lines; the St. Charles Avenue streetcars are not.

Routes

The Riverfront streetcar covers a 2-mile route along the Mississippi River, connecting major sights from the end of the French Quarter (Esplanade Avenue) to the New Orleans Convention Center (Julia Street). Eight stops en route include the French Market, Jackson Brewery, the Aquarium of the Americas, Canal Place, the World Trade Center, the Riverwalk, Woldenberg Park, and the Hilton Hotel. This streetcar operates daily from 7 am until 10:30 pm, every 20 minutes during peak hours and every 40 minutes mornings and evenings.

The historic streetcars of St. Charles Avenue run along St. Charles Avenue from Common Street to the Riverbend at Carrollton Avenue roughly every 10 minutes for most of the day. From Riverbend, this line continues along Carrollton Avenue to Claiborne Avenue in Mid-City. Streetcar service on St. Charles Avenue runs almost 24 hours a day (closed 3:30–4:55 am), though wait times can be as long as 30 minutes between 11:30 pm and 3 am. A huge maintenance project was recently completed, but check the RTA’s website for up-to-date information.

A third streetcar line runs along Canal Street from the river near Harrah's Casino to either City Park or to the cemeteries. Going from Harrah's Casino to the cemeteries, it passes every 16 minutes. As it gets closer to City Park, it passes every 30 minutes. The Canal Street line operates from 7 am to about 1 am, with longer waits after midnight.

The newest streetcar line, which opened in early 2013, runs along Loyola Avenue, with stops in the CBD and French Quarter, then heads eastward into Tremé, the Faubourg Marigny, and Bywater. It departs from the Union Passenger Terminal every 20 minutes between 6 am and 11:30 pm, heads to the French Market Station, and makes stops at Canal Street and Harrah's Casino. Stops in Tremé, Marigny, and Bywater are every 30 minutes.

Costs

Bus and streetcar fare is $1.25 exact change plus 25¢ for transfers. Unlimited passes, valid on both buses and streetcars, cost $3 for one day, $9 for three days, and $55 for 31 days. The daily passes are available from streetcar and bus operators; three-day and 31-day passes are available at many local hotels and at most Walgreens.

Bus and Streetcar Information

RTA. 504/248–3900; www.norta.com.

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