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New Orleans St. Charles Line receives Handicapped Accessable Streetcars

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New Orleans St. Charles Line receives Handicapped Accessable Streetcars
Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 3, 2020 2:11 AM

New Orleans RTA

 

ADA streetcars on St. Charles Line

 

Information  from "Mass Transit" website:

The new cars are marked with the accessibility icon on the front and side.

Dec 2nd, 2020
Rta
RTA

New, ADA-compliant streetcars have entered service along New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) St. Charles Route.

The three new streetcars are equipped with wheelchair lifts at the front and rear of each car to better accommodate riders with limited mobility and those who use wheelchairs and walkers.

Flozell Daniels, Jr., chairman, RTA Board of Commissioners:

"Today signifies an important milestone for the ADA community, RTA and the city as a whole, The entrance into service of ADA compliant streetcars highlight the importance of the RTA’s Board of Commissioner’s commitment to accessibility for all riders and building equitable transit system.”

The project also included modification of 12 St. Charles Streetcar Line stops, six inbound and six outbound, rebuilt with platforms wide enough for operators to safely deploy streetcars' Limited Mobility (ADA) Ramps, installation of yellow tactile warning strips and of protective bollards, and re-grading stations for level ADA compliant surfaces.  Funds were provided by RTA and the city of New Orleans, $160,000 for engineering and construction administrative services and $400,000 for engineering costs.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell:

“On this, the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are reminded of how transportation is as much an equity issue as it is an infrastructure issue. This administration has been intentional in the way we seek to provide equitable transportation options.  Bringing the St. Charles Streetcar line into compliance for people with disabilities is a major example of this commitment. I want to thank my infrastructure team for doing the work on the ground, our ADA Administrator Eva M. Hurst for her diligence, the RTA leadership team for updating the streetcars, and the City Council for being invaluable partners in helping us literally move this city forward.”

“As the RTA continues to prioritize the needs of riders, our commitment to creating accessible transit options is critical,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, CEO, RTA. “Beginning today, transit riders with limited mobility will be able to more easily enjoy our iconic and historic St. Charles Streetcar line, a service long overdue for New Orleans residents and visitors. This project is the first and important step in creating a completely accessible transit system.”

Opened 1835, the St. Charles Streetcar Line is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the United States.  The routs is from the edge of the French Quarter, the length of St. Charles Avenue, to Carrollton Avenue and S. Claiborne Avenue. The line is a National Historic Landmark, includig the green and crimson “Perley Thomas” streetcars.

The three retrofitted Riverfront streetcars required 1,200 man hours to convert the Riverfront streetcars into replicas of the St. Charles cars. They were painted inside and out to match the 1929-built Perley Thomas cars in almost every way. A smoother results from to the propulsion system which is "light rail" as on RTA’s other streetcar routes.  

 
Mark Raymond, vice chair, RTA Board of Commissioners:
“As an RTA Commissioner and as a transit accessibility advocate, I am excited the RTA is entering its new ADA accessible streetcars into to service today.  The modification of the historic St. Charles Streetcars and streetcar stops is a great first step in achieving the Board of Commissioner’s goal of building a fully ADA accessible transit system that serves all transit riders regardless of an individual's level of mobility.”
 
 
 



  • Member since
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  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 3, 2020 10:02 AM

While the New Orleans streetcars are a tourist attraction of sorts, they are also a working part of the New Orleans RTA so the lifts are necessary.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
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Posted by Paul of Covington on Friday, December 4, 2020 10:55 PM

   I've been looking for more info from our local news sources, but I haven't found a thing.  Even the N.O. RTA site just had a brief mention.  As far as I can tell, the cars in question were built in the local Carrollton Shops in the mid 90's with the handicapped-accessible equipment.  The conversion talked about seems to be mainly repainting from the red and yellow used on the Riverfront line to the olive and reddish colors of the St. Charles line.  They were already very faithful copies of the old Perley Thomas cars, moreso than the Canal St. cars with the hokey (in my opinion) oversize fake clerestory deck built to hide the hump on the roof that I believe houses the air-conditioning equipment.

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  "A stranger's just a friend you ain't met yet." --- Dave Gardner

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 6, 2020 1:13 AM

Paul, just from the photograph, and no other source, I guess that the air-conditioning equipment has been removed, along with the hump in the roof and the fake and ugly cleristory.  And operable windows that work are now available.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Sunday, December 6, 2020 3:33 PM

   Dave, these first locally built cars never did have air conditioning.  They were close to exact duplicates of the old Perley Thomas cars except for the handicapped accessibility.  Only the later Canal St. cars had it.  I happened to see one of the Canal St. cars in the shop before the clerestory deck had been added, and the hump was rather low with a gradual slope, and I didn't think it would have been too objectionable if it had been left in view.  The clerestory deck could have been half the height and still would have completely hidden the hump.  Of course, I also think the air conditioning was completely unnecessary; with the front and rear windows open, the old cars are perfectly comfortable.

_____________ 

  "A stranger's just a friend you ain't met yet." --- Dave Gardner

  • Member since
    June 2002
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 7, 2020 2:55 AM

I agree.  The humps on the Boston PCCs don't disfigure them.

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