ADA compliant: new fleet of cars for St. Charles

Now ADA Compliant, new streetcars have familiar look
Now ADA Compliant, new streetcars have familiar look Photo credit Getty Images-edmetz

A fleet of ADA compliant streetcars hits the rails on the St. Charles line today.

Regional Transit Authority rolled out the new cars this morning at the RTA’s Carrollton Barn/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.

“As an RTA Commissioner and as a transit accessibility advocate, I am excited the RTA is entering its new ADA accessible streetcars into to service today,” said Mark Raymond, Vice Chair RTA Board of Commissioners.
“The modification of the historic St. Charles Streetcars and streetcar stops is a great first step in achieving the Board of Commissioner’s goal of building a fully ADA accessible transit system that serves all transit riders regardless of an individual's level of mobility.”

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.

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.