Service Alerts (1)

RTA extends its face mask requirements

Today, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) extended its face mask requirement while riding buses, streetcars, ferries, and paratransit vehicles, through March 18, 2022. This extension corresponds with the announcement made today by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

The RTA originally instituted a mask requirement for passengers on agency vehicles during the Spring of 2020. While this announcement extends the date of enforcement, all other aspects of the requirement remain unchanged, including exemptions and civil penalties. Failure to comply may result in denial of boarding or removal. The refusal to wear a mask is a violation of federal law and passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law.

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All RTA red streetcars contain features and equipment that allow persons with disabilities to board, ride, and get out of vehicles easily and comfortably.

The green St. Charles Avenue streetcars that travel the St. Charles Avenue line do not contain accessibility equipment. Because each St. Charles streetcar is considered a National Historic Landmark, modification of these historic streetcars is limited and requires consultation with, and the prior approval of, the State Historic Preservation Office. RTA makes every effort to provide alternatives for the St. Charles line. To view bus routes that service the general area, click here

Steps for Riding the Red Streetcar with a Disability

  • Wait for the streetcar at an official RTA streetcar stopCanal Streetcar. Please arrive about 5 minutes before the streetcar is scheduled to arrive.
  • The streetcar will stop for you. When the doors of the streetcar open at each stop, the operator will announce the destination of the streetcar.
  • To get on board, there is a lift located at the middle door of the streetcar. Tell the operator if you need to use it. If you are not in a wheelchair but need the motorized lift because of difficulty with stairs, simply walk onto the lift platform. If you are in a wheelchair, wheel your chair onto the lift platform. The lift will raise and allow you to walk or wheel on board.
  • Pay your fare. As a person with a disability, you may qualify for reduced or free fares. Visit our Paratransit section for more details.
  • If you are not in a wheelchair, take a seat in the priority seating area in the front of the streetcar. For more information on priority seating, read the section about it below.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, the streetcar operator will secure your wheelchair to prevent it from moving when the streetcar is in motion. This tie-down area is located in the middle of the streetcar near the lift. The streetcar operator will assist you before other passengers can get on board.
  • You may wish to tell the operator your destination so you can be sure to get where you’re going without any problems. The operator will announce major stops and transfer points.
  • As the streetcar is approaching your desired stop, pull on the pull cord.
  • Exit the streetcar. If you used the motorized lift when you got on board, the operator will help you use it again. If you need help getting out of the streetcar, please let the operator know.

Priority Seating Areas

RTA red streetcars contain an area near the front of the vehicle that is marked as priority seating for senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities.

If all the seats in the priority seating area are taken, ask a non-disabled passenger to offer you a seat or ask the streetcar conductor to make the request for you. Keep in mind, however, that streetcar conductors can only ask a non-disabled passenger to move from a seat. They cannot force anyone to give up a seat. The reason for this policy is because a passenger may actually have a disability that’s not visible, and asking anyone to prove a disability would violate his or her privacy.

The RTA asks that any of our passengers, especially those in a priority seating area, please be courteous and offer their seat to a person with a disability who might need it.


Features on Our Vehicles for Specific Types of Persons with Disabilities

Features for riders in wheelchairs or with limited mobility:

  • On red streetcars, lifts that elevate riders and allow them to board
  • Areas on red streetcars where wheelchairs can be secured
  • Priority seating areas
  • Features for the visually impaired:
    • Automatic announcements of bus stops
    • Permission to bring service animals on board
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