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New Orleans Trams Stephen Rees’ blog Urban Planning

Back from a week in New Orleans (there was a wedding in the middle) where tram driving became a key issue. People asked me if I would rent a car, but that didn’t make any sense to me. The French Quarter we stayed in has very narrow streets and a clear lack of parking spaces. We wanted to rely on NORTA (buses and trams) and walk. There were bikes, but my partner didn’t bring her phone with them, and there is no way to rent two bikes on one phone. Basically, I’m not going to install the Uber or Lyft app on my phone – although we shared my son’s Lyft for a ride. We used taxis – but that should be another post.

Car on the riverside in Jackson Square

You may have heard of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse four months ago. This happened in one place on the Rampart and Canal streets.

The Hard Rock Hotel

As a precaution, entire blocks on all sides have been closed to traffic – however, no work is being carried out to remove the damaged building. The Canal and Rampart streets are both tram lines. Canal Street routes have a bus bridge. The Rampart Street Route was simply canceled.

Rampart St at the Ursulines tram station

We didn’t know about it when we arrived. We have relied on them Transit app on my iPhone. This showed – and still does – the regular tram traffic on the wall – with arrival times and the symbol “real time” – not just the timetable. We sat at a tram station in Ursulines and waited for trams that never came. He whipped past us on an RTA truck and the driver shouted something unintelligible – probably “there is no service”, but it didn’t sound like that. There was no sign anywhere on the station showing that the stop was closed. Although the street has bus connections, no bus stops have been set up at the same intersections so that intended tram users can get on a bus instead of the tram.

Now it is true that there is information about norta.com – although you have to dig around a bit to find it.

There is also a major pause on the Riverfront line as construction is underway at the foot of Canal Street. The riverfront cars are now turning onto the Canal instead of heading south along the river. The new terminus is practical for the St. Charles tram, which is not affected by either blockade.

I have taken up the problem of misleading information with the employees of the Transit app. This is your answer.

“Although we work with transportation agencies to show forecast times, service alerts – such as notifications of trams that are not moving – are updated directly by the agencies.

We are a third-party app based in Montreal, Canada. We are therefore not involved in the operation of the agencies. I would suggest contacting the RTA about this. You can contact the RTA here: https://www.norta.com/About/Customer-Service

Basically, the RTA only relies on its own website and does not update the information in the Transit app or make road postings. Some buses had service change cards – but they weren’t issued here either, just so the driver could give them to the passengers who asked questions.

Much of the New Orleans system only has reserved tram rights: the St. Charles route south of Lee Circle and most of the Canal Street route. But not the turn off along South Carrollton to City Park. There is a median, but the trams are in traffic in the middle lanes. This of course means that trams are stopped behind the traffic turning left. I saw no evidence of a priority on the road for transit.

Along St. Charles Street, the tram is actually better for sightseeing, as the car drives leisurely and the tour buses pass in the lanes. If you want to see the charming old houses in the Garden District, the hop-on hop-off bus cannot be recommended. By the way, if you are concerned about getting into a St. Charles car on the Canal, at least half of the cargo will get off halfway there to do the guided walk through the Garden District and most of Audubon Park.

St. Charles tram on Canal St.

There are also a number of streets with broad averages that I suspect were once tram lines. Naturally Wikipedia is the right place to find out.

I’ve also heard a lot about how trams are only for tourists, but that’s a gross misunderstanding. Where the trams run and their general reliability means that everyone uses them. In fact, trams seem to be much more common than many bus routes. It is reliability and frequency that attracts the driver, no matter which vehicle.

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