N.O. Reopens Historic Streetcar Line After 40 Years

NEW ORLEANS – For the first time in 40 years, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will resume revenue service of the Canal Streetcar line.

"The new Streetcar will be a bright, functional and most-welcomed addition to our city," said Sandra Shilstone, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. "Generations of New Orleanians have ridden the Streetcar to and from work, and visitors love the old-world charm of the ride."

The new Canal Streetcar will take thousands of locals and tourists to work and play each day as it travels the 5.5-mile route from the French Market, along Canal Street, through the Central Business District of New Orleans, and into the Mid-City area. The line will end at City Park Avenue and the historic city cemeteries.

A spur line along North Carrollton Avenue will connect Canal Street to City Park at Beauregard Circle, where riders can enjoy a 1,500-acre urban Eden filled with centuries-old oak trees, an elegant botanical garden, a charming storybook village, and a host of family activities.

The final stop will be at the New Orleans Museum of Art, where visitors can see one of the finest art institutions in the country and the new $25 million Sydney and Walda Bestoff Sculpture Garden. And only blocks away is the historic Fairgrounds Race Track, with its fabulous horse races and the annual spring time rite of passage, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The new streetcar line includes a fleet of 24 brand new red streetcars, which were built in New Orleans by a special team of Regional Transit Authority blacksmiths, carpenters, electricians and mechanics. They closely resemble the Perley Thomas models used on the city’s first streetcar lines and the current St. Charles Avenue line.

A ride on the Canal Streetcar costs $ 1.25 each way. And while the new streetcar has the look and feel of days gone by, each car is air-conditioned, has a high-tech, low-noise braking system, and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility lifts for the handicapped.

Service will begin at 3:10 a.m. on April 18.