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New Orleans - December 2010

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New Orleans — North Rampart Streetcar May Be Built With Local Money

Rail Transit Online, December 2010

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority may combine local funding for two new streetcar lines in order to build one of them, after an application for $50 million in federal grants for the North Rampart/St. Claude Avenue corridor and the Convention Center line was rejected earlier this year.

RTA Chairwoman Barbara Major said she will ask the board of directors to switch money from the Convention Center scheme to the Rampart line even as the agency continues seeking more cash from Washington. 'We want to bring streetcars deeper into the community," Major told The Times-Picayune. "For New Orleans to be a different kind of city, a new kind of city, I would like to see them rolling in neighborhoods they have never run in or where they haven't run in decades."

The project, dubbed the "French Quarter Loop," is estimated to cost $115 million, with $98 million already available from various sources. The four-mile (6.4 km) route would follow North Rampart Street between Canal Street and Press Street, with a 1.2-mi. (1.93 km) spur on Elysian Fields Avenue to the Riverfront line at Esplanade Avenue.

Earlier this year the RTA received a $45-million FTA grant that will fully fund a new streetcar line along Loyola Avenue from Canal Street to the Union Passenger Terminal.


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