Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wow they actually listened

RTA's route changes that will accompany the opening of the Rampart/St. Claude streetcar announced actually take into account rider feedback.
In dual wins for local riders who prefer buses over streetcars, bus routes that now run along North Rampart will continue to do so, although they’ll make fewer stops between Elysian Fields and Canal, and a proposal to cut off two other downriver bus lines at the French Market and force riders to transfer to streetcars was rejected.

“We heard from customers consistently that they want to get to Canal Street, particularly from the further-out neighborhoods in the Lower 9th Ward,” said CJ Bright, director of planning and scheduling for Transdev, the private company that manages the RTA’s operations.

The decision signals a shift in the RTA’s thinking. The agency’s past practice of cutting off some bus lines short of Canal Street so as to boost streetcar ridership has been heavily criticized, with some residents saying it favored tourists over locals, who prefer fewer transfers as they travel to work or other destinations.

Clamor rose in 2013 after the RTA opened its Loyola Avenue/Union Passenger Terminal streetcar line and made service changes to some nearby bus routes, forcing some riders coming from Uptown to get off their buses at the terminal and switch to the new streetcar line to get to Canal Street.

But this time, the RTA will preserve the North Rampart bus routes, including the heavily used 88-St. Claude/Jackson Barracks line. After it stops at Elysian Fields, however, that line will now stop only five times heading to Canal Street: at St. Bernard Avenue, Esplanade Avenue, St. Ann Street, Conti Street and Canal itself, Bright said.
It does raise the question of what the hell are the streetcars even for besides amusing tourists. But we'll at least accept that RTA is (grudgingly) willing to serve its actual "customers" for once. Although we wish they wouldn't call people who depend on a public service customers. 

No comments: