NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The city of New Orleans and the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will be required to make at least six stops along the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar line wheelchair accessible, according to a federal consent decree announced Monday.
The agreement comes after a lawsuit was filed in April 2016 on behalf of three New Orleans residents claiming the line is completely inaccessible to wheelchair users.
The plaintiffs, Mitchell Miraglia, Francis Falls, and Thad Tatum, said lack of access to the streetcar was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Under the terms of the decree, approved by Federal District Court Judge Lance M. Africk, of the Eastern District of Louisiana, the city and the RTA will make at least six stops accessible to wheelchair users.
The stops are at each end of the St Charles line, Napoleon Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, and Jackson Avenue. Another stop will be designated near the Riverbend.
Officials will have nine months to bids the project.
When the work is done, the RTA will run one streetcar equipped with a wheelchair lift on the St. Charles Avenue line. But no modifications will be made to the historic, green, Perley Thomas streetcars.
If demand is high for the wheelchair accessible streetcar, a second accessible streetcar will be added after two years.
There is nothing in the agreement that prevents the city and the RTA from adding more stops and streetcars.