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New Orleans - June 1999
   

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New Orleans –  More Delays

Rail Transit Online, June 1999

The Regional Transit Authority has again postponed requesting a 25-cent fare increase from the New Orleans City Council. When it was first proposed at the end of last year, the RTA insisted the extra money was needed to prevent service cuts and to finance the city's share of the proposal to reinstate streetcars on Canal Street. But long before the scheduled Apr. 1 implementation date, the city council objected and the increase was suspended. The RTA board then decided to hike the fare on July 4 and was supposed to ask the council for permission on May 27. But several days earlier the board again decided to table the request, this time for a month. The council reportedly is reluctant to approve the $1.25 fare until the RTA shows it can slash unnecessary spending and reduce its $50 million debt. Staff cuts have already begun and RTA Chairman Robert Tucker said the postponement will give the agency time to get a second $5 million line of credit from the state and review a financial analysis of the agency's operations by an outside accounting firm. Meanwhile, the RTA is continuing its campaign to obtain a $25 million grant from the legislature for the Canal Street project, money that must be forthcoming before federal funding will be released.

 

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