New Orleans City Council approves RTA’s BRT corridor project

Posted: 27 March 2023 | | No comments yet

In addition to potentially reducing public transit commute times by 30 minutes, the bus rapid transit project will help New Orleans RTA to improve transit equity and provide relief from traffic congestion.

New Orleans City Council approves RTA's BRT corridor project

Credit: New Orleans RTA

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has announced that the New Orleans City Council has approved its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) East-West Bank Corridor project.

Bus rapid transit is a high-capacity and high-quality rapid transit system that uses buses to offer a service that operates much like a rail system, often with the use of dedicated lanes, traffic signal prioritisation and stop features.

Despite overwhelming support for the route in the public comments at the city council’s Transportation Committee meeting in February 2023, the committee ultimately decided to defer the decision to allow time to modify the resolution language to ensure the state and federal budget processes.

“We appreciate the New Orleans City Council’s deliberative and thoughtful consideration as well as their willingness to be a partner in our mission to more efficiently get our people to where they need to go,” said Lona Edwards Hankins, Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans RTA. “We are proud of the extensive outreach and engagement we conducted with our riders, our community partners, and our elected officials to create a plan of which everyone can be proud. We remain committed to continuing the dialogue with all of our stakeholders, listening to their needs and concerns, so that we always centre the community in our process going forward.”

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BRT has the potential to reduce public transit commute times from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. In a robust outreach and engagement process, RTA had participated in over 67 unique meetings in order to get input in the initial design of the BRT route. In addition, the agency generated nearly 1,000 survey responses.

With this BRT project, RTA seeks to improve equity in transportation, provide relief from traffic congestion and parking, enhance and grow neighbourhoods, grow the economy, and enhance New Orleans’ competitiveness among other major U.S. cities that are already moving in this direction.

With its approval from the New Orleans City Council, RTA will be able to apply for federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, for 50% of estimated $250-$350 million cost of the project. RTA will hire an engineering team immediately to begin developing design in collaboration with the community.