NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority held a ribbon cutting Tuesday for its ADA compliant streetcars along the St. Charles route at its Willow Street Streetcar Maintenance Facility.
The three new streetcars are equipped with wheelchair lifts at the front and rear of each car to better accommodate riders with limited mobility and those who use wheelchairs and walkers. To help riders identify the ADA compliant streetcars, the new cars are marked with the universal accessibility icon on the front and side indicating ADA accessibility.
“Today signifies an important milestone for the ADA community, RTA, and the city as a whole,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., Chairman, RTA Board of Commissioners. “The entrance into service of ADA compliant streetcars highlights the importance of the RTA’s Board of Commissioner’s commitment to accessibility for all riders and building equitable transit system.”
The project also included modification of 12 St. Charles Streetcar Line stops, six inbound and six outbound. These stations were rebuilt to feature platforms wide enough for streetcar operators to safely deploy streetcars Limited Mobility (ADA) Ramps, installation of yellow tactile warning strips, installation of protective bollards, and re-grading stations to provide level ADA compliant surfaces. The project was jointly funded by RTA and the City of New Orleans with $160,000 for engineering and construction administrative services and $400,000 for engineering costs.
The new ADA St. Charles Streetcars are three retrofitted Riverfront streetcars. Each ADA streetcar required 1200-man hours to convert the Riverfront streetcars into replicas of the St. Charles cars. The cars were painted inside and out to match the Perley Thomas cars in almost every way. Riders will also experience a smoother ride due to the cars different propulsion system which is more in line with light rail on our other streetcar routes.
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