POST KATRINA NOTE: The Canal Street Line cars were all destroyed and it will be some time before they start to run again. But the Riverfront Line and part of the Canal Street Line are back in service using the historic St. Charles Line cars.
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 to New Orleans City Park for access to the New Orleans Museum of Art. These cars and the Riverfront line cars are red.
The Riverfront line runs along the Mississippi River from Esplanade Avenue, at the far end of the French Quarter, to the Convention Center.
The St. Charles street line runs from Canal Street, through the American Sector, to the old city of Carrollton. The cars on this line are green.
My husband feels that the wooden seats are uncomfortable.
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.
The Canal Streetcar travels the five-and-a-half mile route from the French Market, along Canal Street through the Central Business District of New Orleans and into the Mid-City area. The line will end at City Park Avenue and the historic city cemeteries.
A ride on the Canal Streetcar costs $1.25 each way. You can purchase a one day pass for $5.00 or a three day pass for $12.00.
They don't have any changes to give you, so make sure you have the exact change before you get on, or purchase a pass.
It seems that the New Orleans streetcar lines have been extended. Some of the streetcars from Riverside (starting out from 1 Frenchmarket) go up to Canalstreet and to the City Park and Museum or Cemeteries. And vice versa. Some start/stop near the Aquarium / Riverfront and you need a transfer for the Riverfront (25 ct).
On entering the streetcar you need to pay $1.25 (exact fare) in an automatic receiver. You do NOT get a ticket, unless you buy a daypass ($5,00 also exact fare into the machine) from the driver. You can buy a transfer for 25ct to St Charles streetcar, a bus or another streetcar line.
I've found it very convenient but unreliable: sometimes it moves fast, sometimes it takes ages. But all of the drivers are very friendly and helpful. They're clearly proud of this revived mode of transportation. These new streetcars have also a lift for handicapped, who pay only $0.40.
The City just began construction on an additional Street Car line going from Canal Street to Carrollton Ave. Later they will add on a link down Carrollton to City Park.