The RTA is starting a process to plan the type of transit service New Orleans needs over the next two decades.
Riders must be heard for this process to work.
Will you raise your voice at the first public meeting of the long-term transit planning process on Tuesday, January 17, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (or Wednesday, January 18 for Kenner residents)?
Please sign up below to let us know you can make it. And keep reading for more details on this important moment for New Orleans transit.
What’s going on?
For several years, Ride New Orleans has pushed the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to create a long-term plan for better service. That way we will have a clear, community-supported map that lays out what we need for world class transit. This will avoid ad hoc planning that hurts the system and ensure that future big-ticket projects like the Rampart/St Claude streetcar are supported by the community and are more integrated into a long-term vision for our transit system.
The RTA has finally started this planning process – called the “Strategic Mobility Plan.”
On January 17 the RTA will hold a public meeting to gather rider input at the RTA building at 2817 Canal. On January 18, there will be a similar meeting at the Kenner Pavilion at Kenner City Park, 3800 Loyola Drive.
What should I expect?
This likely won’t be like a traditional public meeting, where residents speak one-by-one at a microphone. Instead, it will likely be more like an open house, where RTA staff will explain the process and talk to participants one-on-one or in small groups to solicit their thoughts on what’s working and what’s not in the current system. That means that you won’t have to attend for the full two hours, but likely will be able to drop in for a much shorter period and still have your voice counted.
What should I say?
Ride New Orleans thinks that the most important big-picture priorities for our system are:
- Frequency: Reliable service running every 15 minutes
- A regional system: We need true regional connectivity that easily gets people to jobs, school, and family that might not happen to be in the same parish
- Fast travel time: Easy and quick transfers and reliable service means you can get where you need to go quickly and without hassle.
Beyond these key priorities, we recommend that you think a little bit about what you like and what you don’t like in our current transit system. For instance, do you like how you have a quick ride to your job when you finally catch the bus, but hate that it only comes once an hour? Then say that!
This part of the process is all about gathering big picture themes for what we need to see in the future. To do that, the RTA needs a better understanding of what riders think works and doesn’t work with the current system. You can help provide a good perspective by relaying your experience and stressing the key big picture items listed above.
What happens next?
The long-term planning process is expected to take about a year to complete.
Later this month, there will likely be a series of smaller, neighborhood-focused meetings and public outreach around transit stops. We’ll keep you in the loop as more information becomes available.
The public input will then be added to research, ridership data, and projections on population and economic trends for the region in the coming years. That will lead to a draft plan or series of long range transit scenarios that will be brought back to the public for comment in the summer or fall.
After another round of public input, the RTA Board will ratify a final plan – likely at the end of 2017.
2817 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70119
Google map and directions