NEW ORLEANS — The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) on Tuesday was awarded a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of nearly $6.4-million to buy 17, 40-foot biodiesel buses.
In an effort to begin implementing improvements called for in RTA’s Strategic Mobility Plan (SMP), the RTA applied for federal funds that would begin overhauling the bus fleet, replacing the majority of aging vehicles, and purchasing additional vehicles.
“Our administration has made the RTA a priority, and we are proud to celebrate this big step forward as a win for New Orleans residents,” said Mayor Cantrell. “I am grateful for the support of U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao — whom I spoke with shortly after taking office regarding this project. This was a great team effort, and I’m proud of the results we are seeing from our new leadership at the RTA.”
The new bus fleet expansion will:
- Improve frequencies for key corridors and areas
- Improve reliability of existing routes
- Improve on-time performance by increasing running times for routes with chronic delays
- Improve safety by reducing operator fatigue
The RTA should receive the funds obligated by the FTA by the end of 2018. Following the funding approval by the FTA, the procurement of buses can begin. Buses take between 12 and 24 months from order to delivery. The new vehicles will all be ordered at one time. The grant is expected to be closed out no later than December 2020.
The bus expansion project is also consistent with the City’s Master Plan (“Plan for the 21st Century, Volume 2, Chapter 11 transportation”), which similarly calls for more high-frequency routes and improved on-time performance. To learn more, visit www.norta.comor call Ride Line at 504-248-3900.