RTA Board Moves Forward with New Links Transit Redesign Plan



Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined other officials today in expressing support for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Board’s approval of the New Links Transit Redesign Plan. With today’s Board action, RTA staff will proceed with implementation of the New Links Plan, anticipated to go live in early 2022. The New Links Transit Redesign seeks to reimagine how public transit connects Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.

“New Links is crucial in creating a more connected, efficient, and equitable public transit system for the Greater New Orleans region. The Board’s action today shifts RTA’s focus to implementation and is the culmination of a two-year, robust community outreach effort to ensure that input from riders was the driving voice in the network redesign,” said Mayor Cantrell.

“We are so very proud of this regional partnership to reimagine how public transit connects Jefferson Parish to our surrounding areas,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng. “We have been eagerly anticipating this final report of the New Links Transit Redesign Plan and look forward to implementing many of these action items. We are proud to partner with the Regional Planning Commission, the Regional Transit Authority and the New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Transportation to help improve the frequency and reliability of bus service throughout our Region.”

Kicking off in 2019, the New Links Transit Redesign involved an extensive community engagement process, consulting transit riders and other stakeholders over multiple phases of outreach. The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) worked with the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), Jefferson Transit (JeT) and the Mayor’s Office of Transportation to develop recommendations for a redesigned transit network to improve the frequency, reliability and regional connectivity of bus and streetcar service.

There will be several benefits to this reimagined network. For example, currently, 19% of residents are within a half-mile of transit with 20 minutes or less frequency; under the New Links plan, that will double to 38%. Similarly, only 35% of area jobs are within a half-mile of transit with 20 minutes of less frequency; New Links will increase the number to 60%.

“The New Orleans RTA Board of Commissioners is excited to adopt the board resolution supporting the adoption of the New Links Redesign Plan,” said Flozell Daniels Jr., Chairman, RTA Board of Commissioners. “New Links provides the roadmap for regional transit leadership to create a cohesive, efficient, and equitable transit system that puts the needs of our riders first. The RTA Board feels strongly that the time is now and the agency is positioned to change the rider experience by providing better connectivity and mobility solutions.”

“The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority remains committed to providing equitable, safe, reliable transit in the city of New Orleans,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “Our commitment remains steadfast as we begin to implement sustainable changes within our transit network that will have immense positive impacts on passengers. Our teams have worked diligently with RPC and our sister agencies to put together a plan that considers the current transit patterns of riders and how those patterns will evolve. RTA is excited for the future of transit as we begin to implement these changes, improving transit for the city of New Orleans and improving connectivity throughout the region.”

“One of RPC’s overarching goals for the past three decades has been to make transit services seamless to the rider and those who depend on the service. We would like to thank Mayor Cantrell and President Lee Sheng for their leadership in working with us to make transit better for all in this community. The completion of the New Links effort is the culmination of many months of effort: outreach, data-driven analysis, and coordination in support of that overarching goal. RPC could not have done this without the help of many, many, partners who shared a similar vision and worked diligently to achieve it,” said Jeffrey W. Roesel, Executive Director, Regional Planning Commission.

“Improving transit accessibility and connectivity across the city, and especially for our underserved populations, has been a priority under Mayor Cantrell, and the New Links project does just that. A huge 'thank you' to the project team for their thoughtful and strategic outreach effort, and their thorough data analysis that led to the creation of this plan. Implementation will take some time, and we look forward to collaborating to get it done,” said Laura Bryan, Director, Mayor’s Office of Transportation.

The New Links Transit Redesign Final Recommended Network and supporting documents can be found online at www.newlinksnola.com.

SOURCE: https://nola.gov/mayor/news/march-2021/rta-board-moves-forward-with-new-links-transit-redesign-plan/

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