Action Alert: RTA Ferry Fare Public Hearing

August 5, 2013


WHAT:  RTA Ferry Fare Public Hearing

WHEN:  TODAY – Monday – August 5, 2013 at 5:00pm

WHERE:  New Orleans City Council Chambers, 1300 Perdido Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

WHY:  Give feedback to the RTA on a proposed ferry fare structure

BACKGROUND

The fight to save our ferries continues.  Significant service cuts took place in July creating severe challenges for commuters and businesses alike.  The service cuts are the State’s temporary solution to keep ferry service going while the State works with the Regional Transit Authority to transition ferry service to our local transit agency.

As you may recall, in June, the State legislature passed a bill that paved the way for the Regional Transit Authority to assume operations of the Algiers-Canal Street and Chalmette-Lower Coast Algiers ferries.  The subsidy provided to the ferries by the tolls collected on the Crescent City Conneciton ended in 2012, making it necessary for the legislature to find new ways to subsidize ferry service.  Their solution was to allow the RTA to charge fares on all ferry users to make the service financially sustainable.  Currently, only a $1 fare is charged for ferry passengers bringing a vehicle aboard.  The RTA is now presenting that fare structure and soliciting feedback at a public hearing and we’ve summarized our position on the fare structure and questions that we have for the RTA below.

RTA Fare Proposal:

  • $2 fare for all passengers – whether on foot, bike or car
  • Discounted Passes:
    • Monthly pass – $75
    • Weekly pass – not offered
    • Daily pass – $5

Ride’s Position:

  • We support the $2 fare.  It is critical that the RTA set fares at a rate that can sustain ferry operations for the long run.  We do not want to end up in another funding crisis down the road and believe that a $2 fare is necessary to prevent that from happening.
  • Regarding discounted passes, a $2 fare is a steep price for regular ferry commuters to pay and Ride calls on the RTA to set monthly, weekly and daily passes at rates that helps frequent riders to realize actual savings.
    • A $75 monthly pass does not offer significant savings to riders and should be lowered.
    • A weekly pass must be provided.  For low-wage workers using the ferry, paying up front for a month-long pass is not always possible.
  • In the long-term, Ride calls on the RTA to integrate ferry fares into the bus and streetcar fare structure.  One transit pass, three modes of transit – now that’s coordinated, regional transit!

Other Questions We Have for the RTA:

  1. What will the hours of operation be under the proposed fare structure?

  2. Are there long-term plans to integrate the ferry fares with the bus and streetcar fares?

  3. What improvements to the service can riders expect when the RTA takes over the system?

See you there!