Mass Transit - 16

NEW ORLEANS RTA
fair-minded access is a foundational aspect of our approach."

Modal and regional
synthesis

New Orleans has a population that
is just shy of 400,000, based on the
U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts
New Orleans city, Louisiana, but
it has four interconnected modes of
transit, a fact that Laura Bryan - an
RTA Board Commissioner and the
director of the New Orleans Mayor's Office of Transportation - calls
unusual, but notes that the RTA is
looking to grow its service in creative ways to get passengers where
they need to go, regardless of mode.
"New Orleanians have lots of
options to get around, and we
work hard so that our four transit modes work together for our
residents. There's more to do, but
we certainly aim for a seamless
multimodal system," she said.
Bryan explains that the various modes do come with their
own level of complexity, such
as the specialized knowledge
required for streetcar and ferry
operations and maintenance.
"Most of our streetcars are
nearly 100 years old and we make
nearly all the parts for our streetcars in-house - from mechanical
equipment to the wooden seats at
our carpentry shop. This is a requirement of being on the register
of National Historic Landmarks.
Hiring for those skills is difficult,
so we invest a lot in training," said
Bryan. "However, one result is that
the RTA has unique knowledge.
We use that to advise streetcar
operations around the country."
In 2018, the RTA responded
to riders' request for regional
transit and, with the support of
the Orleans and Jefferson Parish governments and business
leaders and the collaboration of
Jefferson Transit (JeT), opened
transit hubs, expanded service
and launched pilot programs.
These efforts, as Daniels points
out, strengthened the "regional"
in Regional Transit Authority.

16 |

"When people move around
the region, they don't care about
political boundaries - they care
about getting where they need to
go. Our region's economy is integrated, so our transit network
must be as well," he explained.
These regional transportation efforts, which were included
in the RTA's Strategic Mobility
Plan, include:
* The opening of the Cemeteries Transit Center in January
2018. The transit center serves
as a connection hub for six bus
lines and the Canal-Cemeteries
Streetcar and the improvements
implemented make it easy for
riders to connect between the
RTA and JeT systems.
* The September 2018 implementation of the Regional Ride Pilot
Program, which gives bus riders
all-day access to both RTA and
JeT bus lines for $6, without having to buy separate passes.
* Mid-September 2018 service expansions including the expansion of the #39 Tulane bus line to
reach Ochsner's Main Campus
in Jefferson Parish and extended
24-hour service on the #16 South
Claiborne bus to match the 24hour service provided on the #39
Tulane line. Alfonzo explains
that the extension complements
the Regional Ride program.
* RTA and JeT combined their
call centers in November 2018 to

Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | APRIL/MAY 2019

provide commuters with stronger customer service assistance.
"Each of these milestones was
achieved to enhance the rider experience, help provide better access
to jobs throughout the region and
to allow locals and visitors alike to
more easily explore Orleans and
Jefferson Parishes," said Daniels.

SMP roadmap

One element that is providing RTA
and the surrounding region with a
roadmap of future efforts regarding transportation growth and enhancement is the Strategic Mobility Plan (SMP). The plan contains
129 action items for short, mid and
long-term goals and was approved
by the RTA Board in late 2017.
"[We believe] the RTA's Strategic Mobility Plan is an unusually forward-thinking plan. We
had a great engagement process
throughout the city and the region, and the resulting vision and
goals speak not only to the type
of system we want this year and
next year, but truly over the next
20 years. That strategic vision,
along with the 129 action items,
have been well integrated into our
day-to-day decision-making," said
RTA Commissioner and Chairman of the RTA's Operations
Committee Fred Neal, Jr.
The SMP's first goal is to earn
trust, a goal that the agency continually strives to achieve.

NEW ORLEANS
iconic electricpowered
streetcars first
began operation
in 1893.

Streetcar
Facts
Electric-powered
streetcars first
appeared in New
Orleans in 1893
St. Charles
Streetcar line
is the oldest
continuously
operating street
railway system
in the world

78%

of streetcar
riders are locals


http://www.MassTransitmag.com

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook - Showing, as Well as Telling
People and Places
Transit as a Community Affair
U.S. Bus Fleets Report
Forming Paratransit Partnerships Through Alternative Methods
Rail Systems Get Powered Up
Operating a Self Driving City
Best Practices - Deployment of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses
Products - In Focus: Buses and Components
Classifieds
Social Hubs - Transit Post Highlights From Around the Web
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook - Showing, as Well as Telling
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People and Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - Transit as a Community Affair
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
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Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
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Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - U.S. Bus Fleets Report
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Mass Transit - 27
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Mass Transit - Forming Paratransit Partnerships Through Alternative Methods
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Mass Transit - Rail Systems Get Powered Up
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Mass Transit - Operating a Self Driving City
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Mass Transit - Best Practices - Deployment of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses
Mass Transit - Classifieds
Mass Transit - 49
Mass Transit - Social Hubs - Transit Post Highlights From Around the Web
Mass Transit - 51
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