RTA’s newest ferry vessel enters revenue service

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) announces the addition of the newest ferry vessel, RTA 1, which will enter revenue service on Tuesday, December 15 at 2 p.m. RTA 1 will be used interchangeably with RTA 2 along the Algiers Point – Canal Street route to allow for seamless service during routine maintenance, vessel trainings, or deep cleanings. The Col. Frank X. Armiger which previously serviced the route will be available to provide service on an as needed basis. RTA 1 is a 105-foot, 150-passenger, BMT-designed, aluminum high-speed catamaran passenger ferry sistership to the RTA 2 vessel which entered revenue service in early October 2020.

“The RTA Board of Commissioners remains committed to providing the residents and visitors of New Orleans with the best transit system that connects various modes across the parish,” said Flozell Daniels Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “The addition of RTA 1 to the ferry fleet will ensure continuity in service along the Algiers Point – Canal Street ferry route. Riders can rest assured that safe and reliable ferry service remains paramount as the agency moves forward in improving connectivity throughout the region.”

“The addition of RTA1 to our fleet, marks another significant milestone in the RTA’s efforts to stabilize and improve our ferry operations,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “One of the agency’s top priorities has been entering RTA 1 and RTA 2 into revenue service. The agency will now focus on continuing to build a world class riding experience that connects all modes in New Orleans and within the region.”

The $19M in funding for RTA 1 and RTA 2 partly comes from a $15.2M award from the Federal Transit Administration’s 2015 Passenger Ferry Grant program for the construction of both vessels and the Canal Street Ferry Terminal re-development project.  The State of Louisiana provided the required local funding match in the amount of $3.8M. Additionally, the RTA annually receives roughly $5.1M in operating funds from the State to support ferry operations and maintenance. The agency broke ground on the Canal Street Ferry Terminal in November which kicked off a two-year redevelopment project that will replace the existing terminal with a smaller, modern, ADA compliant terminal and bridge. Once completed, the new terminal will create a seamless Riverfront connecting Audubon Aquarium to Spanish Plaza. Construction is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2022.

The Algiers Point – Canal Street ferry operates seven days a week with a 15-minute frequency. The first sailing from Algiers Point leaves at 6:00 am and the last sailing from Canal Street leaves 8:45 pm, Sunday through Thursday; with the last sailing from Canal Street leaving at 10:45 pm on Friday and Saturday. Riders are reminded to download the RTA GoMobile app to purchase ferry fare and check schedules in real time. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all riders must wear face coverings when riding, adhere to all seat closed signs, and social distance when aboard.