NEW ORLEANS – Beginning July 1, 2013, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will utilize available funding and continue operations of the Chalmette ferry on its current schedule, as well as the Algiers/Canal ferry on an adjusted schedule. Operation of the Gretna ferry will cease as no funding was dedicated to the ferry during the legislative session. The new schedule best preserves access to transportation options for residents of the New Orleans area.
The Algiers/Canal ferry will now run Monday through Friday from 7AM to 7PM, and an approximate 8-hour schedule on Saturday and Sunday as set in coordination with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC). DOTD will utilize the $830,000 provided by Act 273, along with $700,000 annually for two years provided by Act 274, to continue ferry operations at the Algiers/Canal locations. This $1.5 million provides for the continued ferry service but hours of operations will be closely monitored and may be adjusted based on available funding and ridership levels. Adjusted hours of operations were coordinated with the RPC, local legislators and public officials, who relied on peak ridership data and reviewed RTA's bus schedule.
Additionally, DOTD will work with local officials including the tourism industry related to the hours of operation on the weekends. The hours of operation will be monitored for a two-month period to evaluate ridership and make adjustments as appropriate. DOTD will utilize the pedestrian ferry as much as possible at this crossing to improve efficiency.
RTA did not present a transition plan to the state, but has indicated it will present DOTD and RPC a potential transition plan in the Fall of 2013. DOTD will continue to work with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC) to provide direction on the future of these local transit services.
DOTD will continue Chalmette ferry service as a state route, which fits into the state transportation model for ferry service. Drivers do not have nearby alternatives to cross the river in this area.
No funds were dedicated to the Gretna ferry service during the legislative session and it does not fit into the state's ferry service model because alternative routes are available. Gretna ferry service will end June 30, 2013.
For former ferry riders who need additional hours of river-crossing service, RTA's bus schedule is accessible through its website at http://www.norta.com.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate and 13,000 bridges, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).