Rider's Digest - March 2024


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Rider's Digest, a monthly newsletter from the Regional Transit Authority

March 2024


RTA releases Annual Report for 2023 

Annual Report on tablet

RTA has released its Annual Report for 2023! Get your digital copy and learn about a remarkable year of achievement, including the completion of the $43.5 million Canal Street Ferry Terminal Project, the new labor agreement with IBEW, securing of $24.8 million a Downtown Transit Center, Perley A. Thomas streetcar centennial, St. Bernard Parish service extension, the “Pause, Breathe” initiative, efforts to replace our aging fleet, and the confirmation of Lona Edwards Hankins as our permanent CEO. Download your copy at norta.com!

Download Report


RTA hosts USDOT Under Secretary

Carlos Monje Jr. at ferry terminal

RTA CEO Lona Edwards Hankins welcomed USDOT Under Secretary Carlos Monje Jr. – a Metairie native – for a visit to showcase how RTA is deploying federal investments for some of our capital projects. They toured the recently renovated Canal Street Ferry Terminal, a $43.5 million project. The officials also discussed the upcoming Downtown Transit Center, which RTA will develop after securing $24.8 million from the USDOT. The officials also toured the Union Passenger Terminal; RTA plans to leverage $5 million in federal funding to renovate the second floor of the transit facility for new administrative offices and potentially the future of Transit Oriented Development.


Birth of a Bus!

Bus construction photos

We are looking forward to 21 new buses joining our fleet later in September 2024. Their construction continues on schedule. Here you can see the process as the assembly moves from a skeletal form to frame building (including body paneling and flooring) and then to painting and window installation. Of these 21 buses, purchased for $18.6 million, 15 are hybrid and the remaining six are diesel. Another 8 diesel buses, purchased for $5.8 million, are expected to roll out in January 2025.


RTA celebrates Women’s History Month

Women RTA employees photo collage

We concluded our celebration of Women’s History Month by lifting up the many women who keep RTA moving forward – from our senior leadership to every department in our agency. We are fortunate to have a range of strong women in leadership roles and everywhere else, whether it’s administration or operations, representing the community we serve. Thank you for the work you do! We’re also excited to look ahead to May as we prepare to host the 2024 Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International Annual Conference – with its theme, “Connecting Cultures, Connecting Communities.” Stay tuned for more details.


RTA celebrates National Transit Employee Appreciation Day

National Transit Employee Appreciation Day loog

This month, the RTA celebrated National Transit Employee Appreciation Day, recognizing the dedication and hard work of our transit personnel who ensure the seamless functioning of our communities. We extend our gratitude to bus drivers and maintenance crews alike for their unwavering commitment to delivering safe and dependable transportation services for everyone.


Residents offer feedback on Algiers Ferry Terminal Renovation Project

Meeting about Algiers ferry terminal renovations

RTA completed its first phase of outreach for the $9.6 million Algiers Ferry Terminal Renovation Project, featuring listening sessions at the Algiers Regional Library and the Algiers Ferry Terminal. Residents interacted with our project team at four main stations:

  • History of Algiers Terminal
  • Project Scope
  • Algiers Terminal Today
  • Vision for a Future Terminal

If you missed these meetings, you may still learn more and take the survey.

Learn More


RTA seeks community input on service reliability progress

Bus traveling on Esplanade Ave.

RTA is seeking community input on how the Winter Service Change affected our riders’ experience. Beginning April 4, 2024, we will conduct a follow-up survey to the survey we took to gauge riders’ experiences before implementation. We will discuss the changes at April’s Riders Advisory Committee on Wednesday, April 3 (5:30 p.m.), at the RTA Boardroom, 2nd floor (2817 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119).

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CEO Hankins participates in panel discussion at New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week

CEO Hankins at New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week

RTA CEO Lona Edwards Hankins participated in a panel discussion at the 2024 New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week. Co-hosted by the Finance Authority of New Orleans, the conversation centered on resilience and climate change. CEO Hankins provided an overview of RTA’s capital projects with a focus on resilience, such as the $71 million Zero Emission Fleet Conversion and the $33 million Downtown Transit Center.


RTA participates in public safety demonstration

RTA staff at WMD event

RTA participated in the United States Department of Homeland Security's (DHS), Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) Capabilities Demonstration and Preparation Demonstration hosted by the City of New Orleans, for major events such as Mardi Gras and Super Bowl LIX. Members of the RTA’s Emergency Management Department, RTA Transit Police, Operations, and Operations Training attended the demonstration to collaborate closely with federal, state, and local agencies in evaluating and strengthening preparedness strategies.

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Upcoming Meetings

April 3: Riders Advisory Committee Meeting

April 11: Operations & Administration Committee Meeting

April 11: Finance Committee Meeting

April 23: Board of Commissioners Meeting