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RTA breaks ground on new Canal Street Ferry Terminal


(New Orleans) - Today, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority held a groundbreaking ceremony on the new Canal Street ferry terminal project. The ceremony held at the current Canal Street ferry terminal kicks off a two-year redevelopment project replacing the existing terminal with a smaller, modern, ADA compliant terminal and bridge. Once completed, the new terminal will create a seamless Riverfront connecting Audubon Aquarium to Spanish Plaza. Construction is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2022 with no major impacts to current ferry and transit services expected.  

A project of this magnitude can only be successful with collaboration and a shared vision with the community and civic leaders,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “The RTA Board proudly makes this investment in the new ferry terminal because it will activate the riverfront to improve safety and access for our residents and visitors, drive job creation and small business expansion, and improve the public transit experience for all ferry riders.” 

The Canal Street ferry terminal project has a total budget of $43.5M and is funded by contributions from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Regional Transit Authority (RTA), City of New Orleans, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). The FTA’s 2015 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant program provided $12M for the ferry terminal redevelopment accompanied by an additional $12M in other Federal Transit Administration funding sources. The State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provided the local funding match in the amount of $2M. Additional funding of approximately of $12M is provided through matches from the City of New Orleans and Regional Transit Authority in addition to a $5M land match.  

“RTA’s commitment to building the necessary infrastructure for a world class transit system remains steadfast, said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “The Canal Street ferry terminal redevelopment project will greatly improve accessibility for all riders who rely on ferry service. The agency will continue its focus on providing safe, reliable, and equitable transit services and facilities while innovating transit connectivity for the residents of New Orleans.”  

“It’s an honor to be a part of this great day for all of those who use the ferry service,” Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary, Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., said. “Watching this partnership come to fruition and seeing how it benefits locals and tourists is an example of what teamwork between locals and state officials can accomplish. The ferry terminal is a much-needed addition to the infrastructure and connectivity of this region. It will benefit many citizens for many years.” 

The project will focus on opening the Riverfront and re-envisioning the connectivity between all transit modes to provide safe, reliable connections for riders. With the current terminal beyond its useful life and there no longer being a need for vehicle access on the ferry, the agency has focused on designing a terminal geared towards passenger needs while accommodating the new RTA ferry vessels, RTA1 and RTA2. The new ferry terminal and pedestrian bridge will focus on providing better and safer accessibility to riders with limited mobility. The improved facility design will provide access to the terminal from above the railroad and streetcar tracks which run along the riverfront. 

"We have made equitable transportation a top priority in this administration, and we cannot have equitable transportation without solid infrastructure at its foundation. We are excited to see the progress being made at the Canal Street Ferry Terminal in this two-year redevelopment project that will allow us to more efficiently move our residents between the Downtown and Algiers, and with minimal interruption to service while the work is getting done," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. 


“As a child growing up in Algiers, we used the ferry often. The Algiers ferry will always hold a very special place in my heart. As a Senator representing Algiers, I will continue to fight for funding so this state-of-the-art ferry can continue to service the great people of Algiers specifically, and the region in general”, said Senator Troy A. Carter.  


"Cities with highly functional, multi-modal public transit systems increase opportunity for all. The new ferry terminal represents the kind of smart investment in that system we've long needed, and when combined with our upcoming system redesign, will bring a new day to how we move people around this city. " said New Orleans City Council Transportation Chair and District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. 

Everything that we do to enhance public transportation not only pays economic dividends but environmental dividends also,” said District B Councilmember, Jay Banks. “This new and more accessible terminal will be a great addition to our efforts to more efficiently move our residents and visitors throughout our City.” 

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