Land Use

Live blog: RTA board holds public hearing on new ferry fares

Members of the public can weigh in Monday on a proposed fare structure for the two New Orleans-area ferries.

The Regional Transit Authority’s Board of Commissioners is holding the hearing in the New Orleans City Council chambers at 5 p.m. I will live-blog it here.

According to RTA’s proposal, pedestrians and vehicles with one person would pay $2 each way to ride the Algiers-Canal Street ferry. Right now, pedestrians ride free, and people in cars pay $1 to cross from the West Bank to downtown New Orleans.

A day pass for the Algiers ferry would cost $5 and a monthly pass $75.

For the Chalmette ferry, RTA would charge $2 for vehicles carrying one person, regardless of which direction they travel. As of now, it costs $1 for cars to cross from Lower Coast Algiers to Chalmette, and nothing to go the other way.

The RTA doesn’t currently run the ferries, but a law passed this year allows it to do so, with some funding from the state.

The Lens reported in July that various studies over the years noted a looming funding crisis for the ferries. They offered various ways to cut service or preserve it — including charging pedestrians to cross the river. But no one took action, spurring a sudden cutback in service this summer after the ferries’ funding source was eliminated.

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. The Gretna ferry has since been shut down.

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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