Land Use

Live blog: RTA may hear proposal on ferry operations at Thursday’s meeting

Update: The board has released the proposed fare structure.

The Regional Transit Authority Board of Commissioners may make public a proposal regarding New Orleans-area ferry operations at its Thursday meeting, according to spokeswoman Patrice Bell Mercadel.

The Advocate has reported that the proposal includes a $2 passenger fare each way for the Algiers-Canal Street ferry and additional charges for vehicles on the Chalmette ferry.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m.; The Lens will live-blog it here.

On the agenda is an item for the board to schedule a public hearing on ferry fares.

Last week, The Lens reported that ferry supporters are vexed as to why fares haven’t already been instituted. Various studies have proposed fares, but first the Legislature had to authorize them.

The same bill that allowed the public to vote on whether to extend the Crescent City Connection tolls and privatize the ferry in 2012 also authorized the state to collect fares for the Algiers and Gretna ferries. A law passed in the 2013 legislative session, which authorized the RTA to take over the ferries, also allows for fares.

Live blog

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About Della Hasselle

Della Hasselle, a freelance journalist and producer, reports environmental and criminal justice stories for The Lens. A graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Hasselle lived in New York for 10 years. While up north, she produced and anchored news segments, wrote feature stories and reported breaking news for, a hyperlocal news site. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News. She obtained her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She can be reached at (917) 304-6121.

  • Robert Karma

    I was recently in Seattle for a week. It is a city surrounded by water and they have a great system of ferries running to numerous destinations from their downtown terminal. My wife and I took our rental car on the ferry to Bainbridge Island, spent the day there and returned by the ferry. It was an impressive ferry that was well-maintained and had a cafe and WiFi on board. Granted these ferries make much longer runs across Puget Sound than the Algiers Ferry does but the citizens of the area support the ferry system as well as an excellent public transportation network in the metro area. I used to live in Algiers and I loved using the ferry but I believe if we are going to keep it in service there must be a reasonable fee to sustain operations. Locals should be able to get a discount by getting a passcard for pedestrians or by getting a pass tag for their car while those without such passes would pay full price.

    Here is the fare info for the Mukilteo to Clinton Ferry, which is the shortest route (2.6 miles) in the metro area.
    Passenger Regular Fare 4.65 in vehicle or walk on Senior/Disabled/Medicare Card Fare 2.30
    Youth Fare 3.75
    Wave2Go Multi-Ride Card 37.70
    Monthly Ferry Pass 60.35
    Bicycle Surcharge Passenger Fare Plus: 1.00
    Small Vehicle & Driver Regular Fare 6.35 Peak Season $ 7.75
    (vehicle under 14’) Senior/Disabled/Medicare Card Fare 5.15 Peak Season $ 6.55
    Wave2Go Multi-Ride Card 102.30

  • Kathy Calhoun

    I agree, Robert, Washington State’s ferries are superb. Oddly enough, I lived on Bainbridge Island back in the ’70s and took that ferry every day downtown. What a difference in the equipment they have there!! Wow. But, the political climate there is equally as divergent from ours. I now live in Algiers Point and am determined to do all I can to help keep the Algiers ferry operating. If you compare the monthly rate in Washington ($60.35) to what is proposed here ($75), it’s astounding. Unfortunately, those ferry users who must catch a bus on the east bank, would have to pay $55 for a bus pass PLUS $75 for a ferry pass – $130/month. That’s way too much for most service workers who are reliant on the ferry to get to/from work. If they stick with those figures, ridership will certainly go down. Hopefully, RTA will be willing to negotiate and at least allow the same pass to be used on buses and the ferry!