Bus and Streetcar Travel

Getting Around by Bus and Streetcar

Within New Orleans, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates a public bus and streetcar (locals will mock you if you call it a "trolley") system with interconnecting lines throughout the city. The buses are generally clean and on time, and run regularly from about 6 am to about 9 pm, later on some routes. 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.


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 Fulton Street entertainment area, the Riverwalk, Woldenberg Park, and the Hilton Hotel. This streetcar operates 24 hours a day, with cars arriving every 20 minutes during peak hours.

The historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar line runs along St. Charles 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, ending at South Claiborne Avenue. Streetcar service on St. Charles Avenue runs 24 hours a day, though cars arrive every 30–40 minutes in the middle of the night.

A third streetcar line runs along Canal Street from the river near Harrah's Casino to either City Park or to the cemeteries. A streetcar leaves Harrah's Casino approximately every 8 minutes, although you should make sure you get on the car marked for your correct destination. Streetcars leave from City Park roughly every 15–20 minutes. 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 24 hours a day, but runs much less frequently after 2 am and doesn't run all the way to the cemeteries or City Park at that time.

The newest streetcar line runs along Loyola Avenue, with stops in the CBD and along the French Quarter, then heads eastward into the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater. It departs from the Union Passenger Terminal every 20 minutes between 6:10 am and 11:30 pm.


Bus and streetcar fare is $1.25 exact change plus 25¢ for transfers. Unlimited passes, valid on both buses and streetcars, cost $3 for 1 day, $9 for 3 days, $15 for 5 days, and $55 for 31 days. The daily passes are available from streetcar and bus operators; 3-day and 31-day passes are available at many local hotels and at most Walgreens. Passes can also be purchased online.

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