New Orleans RTA introduces new paratransit vehicles into service

Posted: 8 April 2022 | | No comments yet

Funded as part of the FTA Bus and Bus Facilities programme, New Orleans RTA’s new paratransit vehicles will provide a shared-ride service for customers with mobility constraints that are unable to access fixed-route public transport.

New Orleans RTA introduces new paratransit vehicles into service

Credit: New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has announced that it will be introducing 21 new paratransit vehicles into revenue service, which feature the authority’s new purple and grey design and will complement the 41 newest fixed-route buses.

The new vehicles have been funded by a competitive $13 million grant award through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) 2020 Bus and Bus Facilities programme.

“As RTA continues to focus on building a completely accessible transit system, this addition of paratransit vehicles will improve the ridership experience for our most vulnerable riders,” said Mark Raymond Jr., RTA’s Vice Chair. “The RTA Board of Commissioners continues to work with the agency to advance improvements to service to riders with varying mobility needs.”

“The new paratransit vehicles introduced today will dramatically improve the reliability of vehicles, on time performance and comfort for our paratransit riders,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA’s CEO. “The introduction of these 21 new vehicles brings RTA one step closer to our agency’s goal to deliver a fully accessible transit system to New Orleans residents and visitors.”

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Using accessible buses and vans, RTA’s paratransit service provides a shared-ride service to meet the needs of eligible riders. In order to qualify, riders must demonstrate an inability to use RTA buses or streetcars on their own, need someone else’s assistance to use the system or have a disability preventing the rider from using regular transit stops.

RTA was one of 96 projects in 49 states and territories that has been awarded a total of $464 million in FTA 2020 Bus and Bus Facilities programme funding to purchase buses, paratransit vehicles and equipment in 2020. The federal competitive grant programme provides infrastructure grants to improve the safety and reliability of America’s bus systems.