NEW ORLEANS, La. – Thanks to spectacular weather, nearly 10,000 riders took to the ferries for this weekend’s Gretna Heritage Festival. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Crescent City Connection Division (CCCD) experienced a slight increase in ridership, compared to last year, with 9,590 passengers making their way to the annual event.
"One of the reasons for the great success of the Gretna Heritage Festival is due to the innovative means of transportation and making it easy for the public to attend without any inconvenience," said Gretna Mayor Ronnie Harris.
He added, "The City wants to especially thank the Crescent City Connection Division for the ferry service provided to our tourists and East Bank neighbors."
This year’s figure represents an increase of about 6.25 percent. In 2009, the vessels transported just over 9,000 people to the festival, which was more than double that of the previous year (2008) with a little over 4,600 riders, and more than quadruple the 2007 figure of 2,055.
"This is a fine example of how our ferry operations fulfill the needs of our out-of-town patrons and the local community," said David Miller, executive director of the CCCD.
Prior to 2007, no vessels operated on the weekend and there was no established route from Gretna to Canal Street. That same year, the CCCD partnered with the City of Gretna to begin exclusive transportation for the festival. On September 28, 2009, exactly one week before the annual West Bank event kicked off, a route linking Gretna and Canal Street was established as a regular weekday trip.
More information about the CCCD ferries can be found at www.dotd.louisiana.gov/operations/cccd/ or by calling (504) 376-8100. Travelers can also follow the ferries on Twitter.com at Canal_Ferry, Chalmette_Ferry and Gretna_Ferry. For traffic information, dial 511 or visit www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).