Rider's Digest - April 2024


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

April 2024


Birth of a Bus Shelter!

Collage of recently built bus shelters

As part of our initiative to expand bus shelter infrastructure throughout 2024, we are proud to announce the completion of four brand-new bus shelters in April. Pictured: new shelters installed at Tchoupitoulas Street and Napoleon Avenue, Freret Street and Napoleon Avenue, and intersection of Canal and Galvez streets, between the VA Hospital and University Medical Center. Additionally, a new shelter was installed on Gentilly Boulevard opposite the Norman Mayer Library.


RTA is how New Orleans rolls

Kermit Ruffins rolls with RTA

April served as the official launch of RTA’s How New Orleans Rolls Campaign. We’re excited to highlight some of New Orleans favorite cultural figures, with appearances by Kermit Ruffins, Tarriona Tank Ball, Chef Martha Wiggins, Jay Art By Jay McKay, and others. Take a look at the video in the link!

Roll With Us


Career Center visits Streetcar Barn

Students photographed at streetcar barn

CEO Lona Edwards Hankins along with our Workforce Development and Carrollton Streetcar Barn teams welcomed a group of students from the New Orleans Career Center as part of our ongoing dedication to creating a new pipeline of talent. We seek to inspire the upcoming generation of streetcar maintenance professionals who will play a vital role in preserving living history – best exemplified by the century-old Perley A. Thomas streetcar, still operating on the St. Charles Line.


Welcome back, Justin Cayless!

Justin Cayless photograph

RTA was pleased to welcome the return of Justin Cayless as its Chief Transit Officer. Justin, previously holding positions as the RTA’s Director of Operations and then Senior Director of Operations from 2021-2022, is recognized as a transit executive renowned for his strategic acumen and transformative contributions to the transportation sector. Most recently, he served as the Chief Operating Officer overseeing HNS Management Inc. While there he oversaw more than 1,200 employees, 500 vehicles, and fixed-route bus systems in Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford, Conn., for CTtransit in collaboration with CTDOT. Welcome back to the team, Justin!

Learn More


CFO Johnson-Banks attends APTA’s Legislative Conference

Group photograph at APTA conference

Chief Finance Officer Gizelle Johnson-Banks met with members of our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. to champion public transit and passenger rail. This advocacy was part of the American Public Transportation Association’s Legislative Conference. Special thanks to U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, pictured above, and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy for their ongoing support, as well as to Theo Richards, CEO of the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS), pictured in brown suit, and CATS Board Member Jonathan Hill, in blue suit. We believe in cultivating robust partnerships with our local, state, and federal partners to secure full funding for our transit initiatives and ensure a world-class rider experience.


WATCH: How to download and use our Le Pass app

Le Pass app video screen capture

Visting New Orleans for festival season or hosting a visitor? Our new video helps riders learn how to download and use the Le Pass app to purchase fares to ride the bus, streetcar or ferry. This helpful video is perfect for showing first-timers how to use the app and get around New Orleans.

Watch Now


Our April employee honorees

Employee photos

In mid-April, we held our Quarterly Employee Meeting and honored our Employees of the Month and our Administrative Employee of the Quarter. Pictured: Anthony Jordan (Maintenance), Gary Edwards (Maintenance) and Tyren Snyder, Administrative Employee of the Quarter. Not pictured: Jessica James (Operations) and Treva Butler (Operations).


RTA Board swears in new commissioners

New commissioner headshots

During our April Board of Commissioners meeting, we welcomed four new representatives. The new commissioners include Flozell Daniels, Jr. (Orleans Parish) who rejoins the Board after serving an 11-year tenure. Other newly appointed members, from Jefferson Parish, are: Deputy Parish Attorney Brad Richard (top right), Assistant Parish Attorney Colin Cisco (bottom left), and Parish Attorney Toni Hurley (bottom right). 

Commissioner Daniels will serve on the Finance Committee, while Commissioner Cisco will serve on the Finance Committee and the Operations & Administration Committee. Commissioner Hurley will serve on the Executive and Finance committees, and Commissioner Richard will serve on the Operations & Administration Committee.


RTA joins Louisiana Public Transit Day in Baton Rouge

Group photo in front of state capital building

For Louisiana Public Transportation Day (April 26) at the State Capitol, we united with our counterparts in Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and St. Bernard Parish to engage with our transportation-focused legislators. It's crucial for both our rural communities and urban centers to flourish with robust public transit systems. Also, public transit serves as a significant economic driver for these communities and for the entire state of Louisiana.

We met with Rep. Bourriaque and Sen. Connick, Chairs of the Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee for the House and Senate, respectively, to address the unique needs of each transit system. Thanks to the Louisiana Public Transportation Association and SporTran for hosting this event. We eagerly anticipate its expansion in 2025.


Upcoming Meetings

May 9: Operations & Administration Committee Meeting

May 9: Finance Committee Meeting

May 28: Board of Commissioners Meeting