If staying in the French Quarter/Business District, Catch the Green Line on Royal Street and it takes you through the Garden District/uptown. $1.25 per person (owe way) and lasts around 1 ½ hours to complete the loop. You can definitely see a lot and take a break from walking, a must do if visiting NOLA.
These are the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world! The mahogany seats, brass fittings and exposed ceiling light bulbs are from a day when plastic seats and aluminum rails were not even a thought. Rumbling around the ''neutral ground'' of St. Charles and Carrollton avenues for more than 150 years, the streetcar symbolizes the charm and romance of the City of New Orleans.
The route traditionally forms a 13.2-mile crescent from Carondelet at Canal Street in the Central Business District through the oldest and most majestic section of uptown New Orleans, around the Riverbend to Carrollton at Claiborne Avenue. Swaying along St. Charles Avenue through a tunnel Live Oaks, the streetcar passes dozens of antebellum mansions, historic monuments, Loyola and Tulane universities, the sweeping grounds of the Audubon Zoological Gardens, shopping centers, fine restaurants and hotels.
A ride is $1.25 without any transfers, we purchased our ticket in the car. We bought a day pass for $5.00 allowing us to get on and off as many times as we wanted. There are 3 and 5 days passes as well. We saw many colorful people at the stops and riding along with us. The Canal & St. Charles Line moved pretty quickly but we waited over an hour for the car to City Park & Museums.
As of 3:45 Am Sunday June 22, 2008, the streetcar began its complete ride from Canal Street to its natural end at Carrollton and Claiborn Aves. An official celebration was held Saturday 28 and these pictures were take at the end of the line today (June 30). The cars will run every 10 minutes during the week and every 15 minutes on the weekends. They will run almost 24 hours a day. (It would be best to check on the midnight to 7AM frequencies if you plan to use them for transportation). There are now 12 of the old green cars running on the St. Charles line. Seven other cars are running on the Canal Street line; some of these turn right at Carrollton Ave and procede to City Park. From there it is a hot (most of the year) 1 mile walk in the park to the New Orleans Museum of Art and further to other attractions. Two other cars run along the River Front. Most of latter sets of cars are red and as soon as they are built, they will replace any green ones on those lines. (They are air-conditioned and handicapped compliant, which the green ones cannot be.). For the last year, the cars terminated at the Riverbend, having run the complete span of St. Charles Ave. As years ago, I recommend getting off there and having a bite to eat (or continuing to Nino's on Carrollton -see my Tips). There are several popular eateries at the Riverbend and there is absolutely NOTHING at the end of the line (see picture 3 attached) except a Walgreen's and a little further a Burger King. Palmer Park, a piece of greenery behind the terminus, is an undeveloped dog-walking space. (I live 3 blocks from here). Remember when riding the streetcar that the sightseeing seats are on the right-hand side! Someday I will have to write and illustrate a riders-guide but it is a lot of work.
Although I never got up the courage to do so, I would recommend riding on the street cars. I never could understand how to ride them and where but there are plenty of travel books and people who do. Just ask your hotel for any extra help. It looked like a fun thing to do and I wish I had done it...
Oh well, next time :)
PS.....They don't stop so make sure to get off the tracks when they do...They almost ran us over! (No explanation needed as to why... :) )
After crossing Broadway we are on the last 9 blocks(4 stops) on St. Charles Ave. At that point the car makes a 90 degree right turn onto Carrollton Ave. which has a similar live-oak middleground. At the point of the turn both ahead and to the left is the levee!!. It is a green "hill" that blocks your view of the Mississippi unless it is at flood stage. On Carrollton there are 8 more stops before the end of the line. You have to pay another fare to return. DO NOT GO THERE!There is nothing to see or do, no store or eateries, maybe thieves or worse. (I know, I live very near there). If you want a good lunch go to the 5th stop (Birch St)(See my Rest, tip: Cafe Nino). There is no place to eat beyond that. If Nino's is not for you, get off at the first stop. You are facing a strip-mall. This is Carrollton. In 1834 when the railroad ,which preceded the streetcar, was built this was a freestanding town,that reached almost to Broadway. (This was written before Katrina. As of today(3/30/07) the streetcar is still far from returning to this area.
At the first stop after the turn, when you disembark, you are facing the Carrollton Courthouse from the 1850's. It is today incorporated in a high school behind it.(For more on the Riverbend see General Tips>Neighborhoods).
The Times-Picayune today's lead story (nola.com) is "Streetcar Lurches Forward" It celebrates the opening of the line up St. Charles Ave. to Lee Circle. THEY say that it will go to Napoleon Ave. by next September and to the end of the line by Labor Day 2008. At the rate the money for Katrina-N.O. related recovery is going, do not hold your breath. Of couse NO for adults is in full swing and it and crime are increasing as "people" come back for money. Amazingly the children's amusement park at City Park is open in spite of no funding (merry-go round soon too) as are the Aquarium, Audubon Zoo, and ferry and river cruises and everyone can eat.
While this streetcar runs up and down Canal St, I was only on the one that runs along the river. The cars stop every couple blocks, so you can ride for as little or as long as you'd like. I went from the convention center to the French Market- short and sweet. It was free earlier this summer, but fares may be back in place by now.
As of late June 2006, the St. Charles Streetcar was not in service. Check before you make any plans.
The re-established Canal Street Line (#42-45) runs from the foot of Canal Street at the Mississippi River, along Canal Street, to Carrollton Avenue. An extension of this line runs out to either the Cemeteries (route 42) or to New Orleans City Park for access to the New Orleans Museum of Art (route 45). These cars and the Riverfront line cars are red.
Post Katrina - the red cars were destroyed so part of the Canal Street Line and the Riverfront Line is now using the historic olive green St. Charles Line streetcars.
The streetcars run twenty-four hours a day, except during Mardi Gras parades. During peak hours, they come along about every five minutes.
The seat backs reverse, so you can adjust them to face your companions.
To stop the streetcar, pull the overhead wire. The conductors are usually happy to call out your stop if you tell them where you want to go.
The fares are the same as for the buses - $1.25 in exact change (they will take dollar bills), or $5.00 for all day. Plus if you have a Medicare card you can ride for 40 cents with free transfers.
This is a streetcar of the historic St. Charles line. There are 34 olive-green electric cars which you can board at the intersection of Bourbon/Carondelet streets and Canal street and ride for 13.2 miles along the ''neutral ground'' of St. Charles and Carrollton through the CBD (Central Business District) and past antebellum mansions, around the Riverbend to Carrollton at Claiborne Avenue
This is the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world - it has been in operation more than 150 years. The cars have mahogany seats, brass fittings and exposed ceiling light bulbs. Bob thinks the seats are just as uncomfortable as the Canal and Riverfront cars.
Since Katrina, some of these cars have been re-restored and are running on the Riverfront and part of the Canal Street line tracks (12/05).
The St. Charles Line tracks are not currently useable and that line has been replaced by buses.
Along the way are Loyola and Tulane universities, and the Audubon Zoo. You can also get off and do a walking tour in the Garden District seeing the fabulous old homes.
We got off to go and have lunch at Uglesich's, and then after we rode down to the end and back, we got off at Lee Circle and went to the D-Day Museum.
There are three streetcar routes in New Orleans that we have ridden. One is the historic St. Charles streetcar, which is green. The other two lines have the red cars. This is the conductor changing the overhead power line to the other side.
The Riverfront Line goes along the Mississippi from Thalia to Esplanade.
Post Katrina, the Riverfront Line started running again in December 2005, but is using the green St. Charles line streetcars because the red streetcars were all destroyed.
One of the very cheap ways to see a lot of New Orleans is to take a street car ride. There are three lines - along the riverfront, from the river to City Park, and out to the Garden District. The Garden District is very picturesque.
It was cold in December when we visited, so the streetcar windows were closed. I found it extremely difficult to take photographs through the windows, which were scratched and foggy. Flash was of course impossible because it would reflect off the window. But even without a flash the window creates a fog or glare hot spots
I've destroyed my bad digital photos, but these were taken with a film camera
If you have around two hours to spare, take a ride on a New Orleans street car. You can grab one at your hotel in the French Quarter area, and take the Uptown route which will lead you through the historical Garden District along one of the most beloved boulevards, St. Charles Avenue. Gracing this old street are beautiful antebellum mansions and homes for which this street is famous. Continue down St. Charles past Tulane University (my alma mater!) Loyola University, and past Audubon Park, until you reach Carrolton Avenue. Get off here and catch a return trolley back downtown. Fares run $1.00 per person, and exact change is required.
STREET CAR RIDES
THEY LET YOU TRAVLE THE CITY THE WAY THE LOCALS DO....