We've made important strides forward for New Orleans transit in the last year. But too many residents who are reliant on transit still don't have the service they need to fully access all the opportunities our region provides.
Illustrating that, the average New Orleanian with a car can reach 89 percent of the region’s jobs in 30 minutes or less. But the average New Orleanian relying on transit can only reach 11 percent of those jobs in the same time period.
We can do better than that!
To address this, we, the undersigned residents of the New Orleans region, call upon the RTA and the City of New Orleans to commit to at least one million vehicle revenue hours (VRH - the time that a transit vehicle is actively serving paying customers) by the end of 2020.
Committing to this level of increased service will continue the improvements to our transit system of recent years, and give us a real chance to provide the better access to opportunity that so many New Orleanians need. One million VRH will achieve restoration on a per capita basis of the overall committed level of service RTA provided prior to 2005.
Even better, getting to one million VRH is definitely possible with a real effort. In 2015 we were at 672,974 VRH and the RTA estimates we are at 750,000 VRH after the April service enhancements. We would need to increase our vehicle revenue hours by approximately 8 percent each year from 2017-2020. We have been averaging at least this pace over the last several years.
We ask that transit and regional officials do everything possible to make this increase in VRH happen over the next four years. In return, we pledge to do everything we can within our communities to build further public support for the world-class transit system that New Orleans residents deserve.