Live blog: RTA approves new fares for Algiers, Chalmette ferries

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Update: The board approved a revised fare structure for the Algiers ferry and the original proposal for the Chalmette ferry. The changes to the Algiers fares:

  • There will be a day pass that allows people to ride the Algiers ferry, buses and streetcars. That will cost $7, compared to the $5 originally proposed for a ferry-only day pass.
  • RTA will offer a five-day pass for the ferry ($18) and one for the ferry, streetcars and buses ($30).
  • The cost of a 31-day pass for the ferry will be $65, not $75 as originally proposed.
  • RTA will offer a 31-day pass that includes the Algiers ferry, buses and streetcars. It will cost $105.

Justin Augustine, an official with Veolia Transportation, the contractor for the Regional Transit Authority, said the fares are needed “to continue their extended services into late nights, and also weekends.” Later Tuesday, he said RTA hopes to restore ferry service to 18 hours a day.

For further details about the discussion, see the live blog below.


The Regional Transit Authority Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday on a proposal to charge pedestrians to ride the Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry and increase vehicle fares for the Chalmette ferry.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m.; I will live-blog it here.

Veolia Transportation, which runs RTA’s buses and streetcars, proposed on July 18 a pedestrian ferry fare structure of $2 for each way for the Algiers ferry and $2 for each vehicle crossing on the Chalmette ferry.

As of now, it’s free for pedestrians to take the Algiers ferry; it costs $1 for cars to cross from Lower Coast Algiers to Chalmette. The Chalmette ferry is currently free for cars going the other way.

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

If approved Tuesday, the proposed ferry structure will be submitted to the New Orleans City Council for final authorization, according to RTA spokeswoman Patrice Bell Mercadel.

Community members weighed in on the fares at a public hearing last week. At that meeting, Mercadel said that the board would take those comments into consideration before making a decision.

Community members made several suggestions, including lowering the fares, providing free transportation to students and offering special prices during events like Mardi Gras.

Several Algiers Point residents said they wanted to see ferry fares integrated with the rest of public transportation in New Orleans. As of now, the proposal has been limited to ferry fares, with no offers of transfers to the city’s buses or streetcars.

Current funding leaves the ferries $2.8 million short in operating expenses, according to Veolia Transportation’s presentation during last week’s meeting. The ferries receive $5.5 million from the state and $500,000 from other sources annually, but they cost about $8.8 million to run.

Live blog

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