You have it all planned. You and your friends are going to ride the buses and streetcars to the upcoming parades. I mean, who really wants to drive home after the abundance of adult beverages being consumed while you catch those prized beads and doubloons? Well, not so fast, because riding those buses and streetcars just became a little trickier, and it’s going to last until Fat Tuesday. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (affectionately known as the RTA) has just published its annual guide to route changes and detours and, unless you’re familiar with the yearly fact that parade and streetcar routes just don’t mix, it's liable to throw a wrench or two into your parade plans.
For Krewe du Vieux and krewedelusion, the streetcar on Canal Street will stop at Liberty Street, and the St. Charles Avenue streetcar will stop on Howard Avenue. Please be advised that this change will instigate a walk of a mile to the end of the parade route on Toulouse near Chartres Street if you’re riding on the former, whereas a walk from the latter will be over a mile and a half. Anywhere between that spot and its beginning on Decatur and Marigny Streets will at least double that distance. A better option, if possible, would be to catch the number 5 (Marigny/Bywater) bus, which runs between Elysian Fields and Poland Ave. from 4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Detours will be effective on all RTA lines in the two hours that precede each parade, continuing until after the parade has passed the transit route.
For the upcoming Uptown parades, service on St. Charles Ave. will stop at Cadiz Street. On a brighter note, shuttle bus services will be replacing streetcars on all lines (St. Charles from S. Claiborne Avenue to Napoleon Avenue and Riverfront) from Thursday, February 8 through Mardi Gras Day. Unfortunately, there will be no streetcar or shuttle service on the Rampart-St. Claude Streetcar on Saturday, February 10 and Tuesday, February 13, the latter of which will see buses running on their Saturday schedules.
For a complete list of detours, schedules, and alternate routes, be sure to visit norta.com before you head out … and just have fun!