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Old 03-07-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
55 posts, read 147,986 times
Reputation: 50

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Hi, still considering a move to NOLA, and would like a frank assessment of the city's public transit system. Currently, I live in Milwaukee and find it possible to get by without a car. I've visited NOLA on several occasions and utilized the St. Charles streetcar line but always had a car with me, as well. So...

How possible is it to live in the city without a car? Which neighborhoods are best for doing so?

How is the bus system in New Orleans? Is it safe and reliable? Does it have steady rates of ridership?

How will the planned streetcar extensions affect the quality of the public transit system?
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,390,193 times
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The one line under construction right now (Loyola Ave.) is short and shouldn't have much of an impact. The other line planned (St. Claude/Rampart) would have a much larger effect.

New Orleans residents are one of the least car-dependent demographics in the nation. With that said, much of that is not by choice and if you want o go to the suburbs for Best Buy, etc. It is far better to have a car.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
55 posts, read 147,986 times
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Thank you. I will not care to go to the suburbs very often and am not a fan of big-box stores.

I seem to read a lot about the streetcars on this board, but does anyone ride the buses?
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:02 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,311 posts, read 4,390,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandwiche View Post
Thank you. I will not care to go to the suburbs very often and am not a fan of big-box stores.

I seem to read a lot about the streetcars on this board, but does anyone ride the buses?
Personally, it's been a while since I have ridden a bus, but yes, the bus system is large and well-traveled. Katrina gave the city a chance to renew much of its infrastructure and with that came the overhaul of the bus inventory to be mostly (if not all) clean-diesel buses. We also have articulated buses for the first time.

The reason you read about the streetcars so much is that they are more used by the demographic that tends to populate c-d. It's not uncommon for those in the financial industry, etc., to ride the streetcar to work whereas the bus, as I'd imagine it does in most cities, has the reputation of being a more working-class form of transit.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:52 PM
 
640 posts, read 1,065,883 times
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I ride the bus often. Mostly the General Meyer Bus from Algiers and the Magazine Street bus. Both buses run pretty much on a good, defined schedule. I've only encountered them being about 5 minutes late at the most. The Magazine bus is by far the most used and most frequent bus in the city, also maybe the St. Claude bus (both of these come every 15-20 minutes). The Algiers bus comes every 30-45 minutes. This should give you a good idea of how popular bus lines and more suburban lines differ.

Also, the buses in NOLA are all brand new and are very clean. I've never felt unsafe on the buses or waiting for them (day and night).

So, basically its a reliable service with clean buses. However, the frequency of the buses GREATLY depends on the neighborhood you live in. Magazine or St. Claude bus comes very often while some buses are scheduled for every hour, although I've noticed this has been steadily improving over the last year or two (the algiers bus used to come every hour but now its every 35 minutes or so). If you did move here I would definitely choose a neighborhood along a bus line with good frequency. Also, the Canal Streetcar is a lot faster than the St. Charles streetcar.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Metairie, LA
1,087 posts, read 1,993,533 times
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There's nothing wrong with the buses, actually I prefer them over the streetcars since their quicker. However, the streetcars are more frequent than most bus lines and run much later at night than any bus.

The French Quarter and CBD/Warehouse Dist. Would be your best neighborhoods for going car-less. After that, Uptown between Magazine and St Charles gives you access to the St Charles streetcar as well as the Magazine St bus which are both pretty frequent. Two other options would be Mid-City near Canal st, or the Marigny/Bywater which is adjacent to the FQ. Regardless of what area you choose, I would definitely recccomend getting a bicycle as it will make things a lot easier.

See: //www.city-data.com/forum/new-o...w-orleans.html
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:41 AM
 
640 posts, read 1,065,883 times
Reputation: 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by rburnett View Post
There's nothing wrong with the buses, actually I prefer them over the streetcars since their quicker. However, the streetcars are more frequent than most bus lines and run much later at night than any bus.

The French Quarter and CBD/Warehouse Dist. Would be your best neighborhoods for going car-less. After that, Uptown between Magazine and St Charles gives you access to the St Charles streetcar as well as the Magazine St bus which are both pretty frequent. Two other options would be Mid-City near Canal st, or the Marigny/Bywater which is adjacent to the FQ. Regardless of what area you choose, I would definitely recccomend getting a bicycle as it will make things a lot easier.

See: //www.city-data.com/forum/new-o...w-orleans.html

Agreed. A bicycle is definitely one of the best ways to get around NOLA.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:13 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
126 posts, read 430,105 times
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Frank assessment...public transit is better than most large US cities. Hope that helps!
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:26 PM
 
1,347 posts, read 2,063,632 times
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You do not want to move here without a car. And I say that solely in case there is a hurricane evacuation...think about how you will leave the city.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:25 AM
 
4,842 posts, read 6,367,907 times
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I lived in the city pre-Katrina and would not have considered being without a car because of evacuation needs. My car stayed parked and we mostly rode the city bus or streetcar and used our bikes close to home. Our car was moved maybe once every two weeks just to keep everything in evac ready condition and when the time came to go it was ready. When you live in a below seaa level city you need to be ready to go at a moments notice.
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