August 13, 2013
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority approved $2 fees for passengers traveling on its Mississippi River ferries as part of a broader package that takes into account concerns among Algiers residents afraid that price tag will fall too heavily upon blue-collar workers making the trek every day.
Veolia Transportation, the private company that runs New Orleans' buses and streetcars and stands ready to take over management of the ferries, added several discounts to its initial plan that received a good amount of gratitude from residents and public officials at the meeting.
The fares are now headed to the City Council for final approval or additional changes. The earliest likely date that city lawmakers could take up the issue is Aug. 22.
The new fares must make up a $2.8 million shortfall in the annual budgets to run the Algiers-Canal Street and Lower Algiers-Chalmette ferries. State subsidies, to the tune of $6 million, are expected to provide the difference.While the hours of operation, which the state cut drastically earlier this year, are still up in the air, the goal is to return the ferries to an 18-hour-a-day service, City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said.