New Orleans Streetcar
As part of the City of New Orleans' unprecedented economic recovery efforts, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) engaged us to identify long-term public transportation investments, including expansion of the city's existing streetcar system. We conducted the New Orleans Central Business District/French Quarter Corridor Alternatives Analysis (AA) – a comprehensive study that examined the inter-relationship of economic development and city "placemaking." Our focus was on fixed rail projects that encourage development of a healthy pedestrian realm.
The AA examined bus and streetcar interface and assessed the benefit of a phased streetcar build-out program that will provide effective service throughout New Orleans. We worked with community leaders and stakeholders to identify alignments that would improve linkages between neighborhoods and major activity centers. Existing streetcar lines will be incorporated as central urban transit spines in the expanded streetcar system. By incorporating previously completed work and condensing technical analyses to eliminate unnecessary research, we were able to shorten the AA schedule from the typical 18 months to twelve to help the city realize much-needed economic gains more quickly.
The RTA board accepted a recommended locally-preferred alternative consisting of three alignments in June 2009. In October 2009, the RTA contracted us to complete environmental assessment and preliminary engineering work over a nine month period.