NCB

Mass Transit in New Orleans

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This thread will be dedicated to all the talk that has now begun of the future of mass transit in New Orleans. What will we see in the city? How should it be built? Where should it be built first?

One thing I'm going to try to do is provide maps, plans, projects, and ideas that have been released by RTA and the Bring New Orleans Back Commision. :D

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All of this info is based off of the Public Transit report released by RTA and the Bring New Orleans Back Commision.

Damage From Katrina

  • RTA lost 2 of its 3 maintenance facilities and its HQ building
  • 30 out of the 66 streetcars were lost, 197 out of the 372 buses were lost, 24 out of the 36 lift vans were lost (all Saint Charles Avenue Streetcars are ok :thumbsup: )
  • 800 out of 1350 employess currently lost
  • Severe damage to the electrical system and track of the Saint Charles Avenue streetcar line.

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A light rail system would do wonders for the New Orleans area. Are they going to seriously consider building a light rail transit system? I'd love to see something which would connect New Orleans with both Baton Rouge and the Mississippi Coast. I suppose this is a pipe dream, but it would be great to see a truly regional LRT system built.

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Accodring to plans that have been released, the top two long term main priorities for RTA and the entire mass transit system in New Orleans is to 1. Build a light-rail system connecting the CBD to Armstrong Int'l Airport, and 2. Build a high-speed rail system connecting New Orleans with Baton Rouge and the Mississippi Coast.

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I'm trying to put together a few differnt maps to show the plans listed and proposed by RTA and the BNOBC. I should have those maps posted sometime soon. :)

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Yes, this is an excellent idea. We've been needing this for decades. Hopefully we'll get funding for this. However, I think it's pretty unlikely.

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A light rail system would do wonders for the New Orleans area. Are they going to seriously consider building a light rail transit system? I'd love to see something which would connect New Orleans with both Baton Rouge and the Mississippi Coast. I suppose this is a pipe dream, but it would be great to see a truly regional LRT system built.

For travel between cities it should be commuter rail as that would be much less money/mile than light rail. Light rail is only cost effective in places where there would be stops fairly close to each other such as what you would find within a city.

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Ok, bad choice of words there. Commuter rail it is then. I'd still love to see an innovative rapid rail or maglev system implemented- or at least discussed in earnest. Unfortunately, the climate in Washington is not good for experimentation of any kind in this direction. This is an ideal situation for experimentation and innovation. The slate is clean---why not take a few bold steps?

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Ok, bad choice of words there. Commuter rail it is then. I'd still love to see an innovative rapid rail or maglev system implemented- or at least discussed in earnest. Unfortunately, the climate in Washington is not good for experimentation of any kind in this direction. This is an ideal situation for experimentation and innovation. The slate is clean---why not take a few bold steps?

I agree... Unfortunately, it's going to take leadership from Mississippi to get it done. They are the only ones who have shown any ability to secure money from D.C... I'm guessing because they have senority and Republican leadership. Louisiana is left with Mississippi's table scraps, for which our politicians are grateful because as they always say..."We wouldn't have gotten anything if it weren't for Mississippi". This will have to be a regional effort with both states working together, realizing that connecting everything from Baton Rouge to Biloxi would be good for everyone.

This would also make sense if a true major international airport were built on the Mississippi side of the border with transit access to both the Mississippi coast, New Orleans, and on to Baton Rouge. Think of it... Gulf South International Airport.

Edited by TSmith

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New Orleans needs some sort of fixed transit system like commuter rail to get people out to places like Slidell and Covington. The lack of this regional infrastructure is one of the major reasons that so many people couldn't get out of the city. The evacuation plan only worked if you had a car to use.

The new Lake Ponchartrain Bridge should have the capacity to hold some sort of train system, be it commuter or light rail.

I know that the city is working on LRT. I saw it on a power point related to the reconstruciton plans for the city. If this is not what NCB is talkin about then I will try to post them at some point. (Assuming that I can find the power point!)

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^Yea that's the powerpoint I have been talking about. Actually, I just managed to find it on the internet(after 2 days of searching) and will upload a map released by RTA in the next few minutes. :)

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Ok sorry for the delay. :)

Here is the first Transit map released by RTA which profiles currently planned future streetcar lines, LRT lines and stations in the city, and future commuter rail lines to Slidell, the MS coast, and Baton Rouge.

lightrailinneworleans5uk.png

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^Yea it really does look great, IMO. And this is only the first plan.

I must say I was a bit suprised by how seriously this is being taken within the city; new plans for new LRT systems, commuter rail lines, and new streetcar lines are being looked at everyday in RTA and the transit commitee of the BNOBC. Also, RTA is already in the process of establishing a strong connection with CATS(Capital Area Transit System) in Baton Rouge, to prepare for new transit options between the cities, which are already very closely tied together after Katrina.

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^Yea it really does look great, IMO. And this is only the first plan.

I must say I was a bit suprised by how seriously this is being taken within the city; new plans for new LRT systems, commuter rail lines, and new streetcar lines are being looked at everyday in RTA and the transit commitee of the BNOBC. Also, RTA is already in the process of establishing a strong connection with CATS(Capital Area Transit System) in Baton Rouge, to prepare for new transit options between the cities, which are already very closely tied together after Katrina.

Would the lines within the city utilise existing, defunct streetcare lines? I'm not that familiar with the streetcar system, but I know that it used to be much more extensive than it is today.

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Would the lines within the city utilise existing, defunct streetcare lines? I'm not that familiar with the streetcar system, but I know that it used to be much more extensive than it is today.

Yes, this is a major part of the plan. I have heard plans to bring back 4 or 5 defunct streetcar lines in the city, and expanding many others.

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It looks like the street cars will go the entire length of Canal Street !

This is a really impressive !

New Orleans to me is like , the San Francisco of the South . NOLA is the most dense,compact urban area in the South. The street grid system is very impressive. Surrounded by different bodies of water;there is really no room to sprawl.

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It looks like the street cars will go the entire length of Canal Street!

They already run nearly all the way up Canal Street, and the line will most likely be extended all the way up to Lake Ponchartrain. From that point, you would have acess to some of the proposed light rail lines. :thumbsup:

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Here is the main plan being studied for the East-West Corridor Light Rail line running from Louis Armstrong Intl' in Kenner to downtown New Orleans.

a1.jpg

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Nice map ! Sounds like a great idea ! I like the east-west route. I have always liked using the Earhart Exwy. as an alternate route.

It would be nice for the light-rail to extend to BR and the Northshore(across the Causeway). Unfortunatly, from what I have been reading, it seems small multiple fault-lines over south Louisiana and Lake Ponchartrain are part to blame for the unstable/slowly sinking land ? Since the 1930's Louisiana has lost the equivalent area of Deleware ! I hope they can fix the problem . So, I hope that would not stop them from considering light-rail over the Causeway to the Northshore.

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I'd like to point out that a streetcar line the length of Elysian Fields, tying the University of New Orleans to the Quarter and Downtown is one of the "wish list" items currently on the board at the Gentilly charrette currently going on...

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This is the proposed extention of a streetcar line running down Loyola Avenue, from Canal Street to Girod Street, which is being proposed as part of the $716 million redevelopment project being headed by Strategic Hotels and Resorts.

canalstreetcarextention4cu.png

Blue- already built

Green- proposed extention

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