New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) held a ribbon cutting for its ADA compliant streetcars along the St. Charles route at its Willow Street Streetcar Maintenance Facility.
The three new streetcars are equipped with wheelchair lifts at the front and rear of each car to better accommodate riders with limited mobility and those who use wheelchairs and walkers. To help riders identify the ADA-compliant streetcars, the new cars are marked with the universal accessibility icon on the front and side indicating ADA accessibility. Riders are also expected to experience a smoother ride due to the cars different propulsion system which is more in line with light rail on RTA’s other streetcar routes.
The project also included modification of 12 St. Charles Streetcar Line stops, six inbound and six outbound. These stations were rebuilt to feature platforms wide enough for streetcar operators to safely deploy limited mobility (ADA) ramps, installation of yellow tactile warning strips, installation of protective bollards, and re-grading stations to provide level ADA compliant surfaces. The project was jointly funded by RTA and the City of New Orleans with $160,000 for engineering and construction administrative services and $400,000 for engineering costs.
Dating back to 1835, the St. Charles Streetcar Line is one of the oldest continuously operating streetcar lines in the U.S. The line travels from the edge of the French Quarter all the way down St. Charles Avenue terminating at Carrollton Avenue and South Claiborne Avenue.