New bus routes debut on Sunday, along with four days of free rides

Uptown Messenger file photo

The 11 Magazine bus will run 24 hours a day as part of the New Liaisons plan.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will introduce its new New Links routes and schedules on Sunday, September 25. To mark the occasion, it is offering a free four-day promotion from Sunday to Thursday (September 28).

The free fares will allow passengers to adapt to RTA’s bus system overhaul with new routes without having to pay for their rides.

With the launch of new bus routes, passengers can board without payment on all RTA buses, trams and the Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry during the four-day period. The Chalmette-Bas-Algiers ferry is not included in the free fare promotion.

The City Council authorized Transportation Chairman and District D Councilman Eugene Green’s September 15 resolution to implement RTA’s free fares for the launch of the new network. The fare suspension was approved by the RTA Board of Commissioners at its August meeting.

The route changes are designed to transform the transit network by connecting more passengers to jobs, schools, healthcare and other necessities with shorter trips and wait times across the system.

To help achieve these goals, the agency is implementing a system of bus hubs. The central hub is across from the main library on Loyola Avenue in the central business district and other smaller hubs are in New Orleans East, Gentilly Woods, the Cemeteries Transit Center and the Wilty terminal in the West Bank.

As lead agency for the New Links study from 2019-2021, RTA worked closely with the Regional Planning Commission and sister agencies, Jefferson Transit (Jet) and St. Bernard Urban Rapid Transit (SBURT) to reinvent public transit in the region.

The two-year study with extensive public participation aimed to meet the changing needs of cyclists. The new bus routes are the latest part of the agency’s new links implementation and the first significant network overhaul since 2004.

The RTA’s New Links bus network is designed to provide better access to employment centers and major destinations such as parks, healthcare centers and grocery stores; shorter waiting times, with more buses running along key routes; more service all day, on weekends and late at night; and more connections and faster transfers.

A summary of the changes to major Uptown routes is below. Click here for a map and timetable of New Links routes. If you don’t see your route below, click here for a list of new routes with links to maps and timetables or here for a route translation guide. And if you’re not sure which bus to take, the RTA trip planner can help you with your itinerary.

Large-Napoleon: the old 94 Wide is now the 9 Large-Napoleon, a 24-hour high-frequency bus line. The new route runs down Avenue Napoléon to Rue Tchoupitoulas. NASA and the Village de L’Est are no longer served by this route, but it connects to other lines at the Gentilly Woods hub.

Magazine: The 11 Magazine is now a 24-hour route starting on Sunday. The name remains the same, but there are some route changes. It no longer extends to Magazine to the Audubon Zoo. Instead, the bus turns Jefferson Avenue and takes Tchoupitoulas to Children’s Hospital. Heading downtown, the Magazine Bus turns onto Poydras Avenue and terminates at the Main Library Hub.

Louisiana: The 27 Louisiana must now arrive every 25 minutes from 5 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. the following morning. The route descends from Tchoupitoulas to Walmart. Instead of taking Washington, the bus continues to Toledano all the way to Louisiana.

Leonidas-Gentilly (Carrollton): The 90 Carrollton is now the 31 Leonidas-Gentilly. It runs every 60 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to midnight. Passengers on the section shared with the 32 Leonidas-Treme can take bus 31 or 32 every 30 minutes. 31 will extend to Children’s Hospital when roadworks and blockades end. Instead of ending at Elysian Fields, the route extends to the Gentilly Woods hub so passengers can travel to the Gentilly Woods shopping area and connect with other routes at the hub.

Leonidas-Trème: The 32 Leonidas-TremIt runs every hour from 5 a.m. to midnight. Passengers on the trunk shared with the 32 Leonidas-Treme can take the 31 or 32 bus every 30 minutes. The 32 no longer serves the Audubon Zoo and terminates at St. Charles and Carrollton. The Leonidas-Treme will extend to the Children’s Hospital when the work is complete.

Saint-Bernard-Claiborne: The 51 Saint-Bernard-St. Anthony and the 16 Claiborne South routes were combined to create the 51 Saint-Bernard-Claiborne, which runs every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight. This new route through the city connects with other routes at the main library center. It no longer serves Mirabeau Avenue, St. Anthony Street, the University of New Orleans, or Poydras to Canal Street.

Paris-Broadmoor: The 52 Avenue Saint-Bernard-Paris and the 28 Martin Luther King Blvd. have been replaced by 52 Paris Broadmoor. The new cross-town route runs every half hour from 5 a.m. to midnight and connects to other routes at the Main Library Center. The 52 bus serves the University of New Orleans and Xavier University and Hollygrove. It adds service along Earhart Boulevard.

Paris-Claiborne Owl: The 53 Paris-Claiborne Owl The crosstown bus only leaves at night, running every 30 minutes from midnight to 5 am. The new route connects to 24-hour routes at the Main Library Center. It replaces the night journeys of the 16 Claiborne South and the 52 Saint-Bernard-Paris.

Franklin Freret: The 57 Franklin Freret replace the 57 Franklin and the 15 Freret. The new cross-town route connects SUNO, Lakefront Arena, Tulane and Loyola Universities, and the Main Library Center. Following the end of the work, the route will continue to the zoo. It also serves North Claiborne from Franklin Avenue to Orleans Avenue.

Jackson Esplanade: There is no route change to the 91 Jackson Esplanade. It will run every 20 minutes, instead of every half hour, during peak hours.

For more information, passengers can visit norta.com/September25 or call Rideline at 504-248-3900. Riders can also receive text updates by texting RTAUpdates to 41411.

Regional Transport Authority

New Links road map for Uptown. Click here for a PDF of the map.

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