Streetcar, New Orleans
Taking the street car up St. Charles is a must! Rolling byall these beautiful homes on the oldest contuinous streetcar line is a magical treat. Take the CCanal street car to city park, which is enormous or to the museum of art full of lovely southern culture.
For $1.25 one way you can get to many of the tourist areas using one of the trolly lines. You need exact change but the "coin box" accepts dollar bills so no need for a pocket full of quarters.
The Red line runs down Canal street to the Riverwalk. Its not super fast, nothing is fast in NO, but unlike the Green line its new and air conditioned. Once at the Riverwalk there's another Red line that will take you to the Convention Center. To get to the Garden District hop the Green line off of Canal at St Charles St and take a ride in what has to be the oldest electric trollies in the country. All in all its a fun experience, cheaper than a taxi, and the drivers are the friendliest people in town.
If you’re going to visit any restaurant on St. Charles Street (from the French Quarter) I would certainly recommend that you take the streetcar. The fares are quite reasonable - if you purchase the VisiTour Pass (1-Day Unlimited Rides) for $5 or the VisiTour Pass (3-Day Unlimited Rides) for $12. The one-way fares are a little high ($1.50 for each route on the Riverfront, and $1.25 for each route on St. Charles). The streets are very narrow for a car (much less an SUV), and many of the streets are one-way to add the aggravation.
I know its cliche but I had to use it. Tennessee Williams classic play is set in New Orleans and these street cars were the inspiration for its title. They are inexpensive. You can purchase day or multiple day passes. And after crawling on Burbon Street all night you will not feel like walking much the next day. The two major lines are the St. Charles Street Line and the Riverfront Line. The St. Charles Line is the one most tourist use. It takes you to the Garden District and Audubon Park. The Riverfront line takes you from the French Market Area to the business district. I used both while visiting. The St. Charles line is a beautiful ride. And the Riverfront line was convenient.
Be like Blanceh Dubois in Tennessee Williams play. Depend upon the kindness of strangers and use the streetcars.
The New Orleans' streetcar system has been around long before the Tennesee Williams of the world. This is possibly the best way to travel around the French Quarter area. (Other than on foot.)
Make sure you have EXACT CHANGE ($1.25 each way/person) before you step up into the car. The drivers WILL NOT MAKE change. If you know you're going to be using the street cars or buses often, I suggest using the VISITOUR PASSES. They offer 1 DAY : $5.00...3 DAY : $12.00. With your VisiTour pass, you may board RTA buses and streetcars as often as you like. No need to worry about exact fare -- just show your validated VisiTour Pass to the operator. You can get the Passes at most hotels, retail/grocery stores and information booths. The streetcar operators have only the 1 day passes.
The cars generally pass every 15 minutes or so. But often the interval is a lot longer. This can be the result of several stops by the driver, getting caught at several of the many lights up and down St. Charles, and those wonderful car drivers who think they can beat the streetcar across the track only to find too much oncoming traffic, forcing the streetcar to stop. Sometimes it doesn't and you may a witness to an accident, which we did!!
For more information about the streetcar and bus routes and pass information check out their website.
These street car stop signs are dotted in and around the French Quarter. I had not realized that the TROLLEYS stop at these points. I thought that regular cars did.
Anyway, live and learn...It didn't take long for me to understand the trolley routes nor did it take long for us to wait for the trolleys.
The word trolley belongs to descriptions of San Francisco. You might draw a local's ire if you refer to the streetcar as such. The streetcar can be accessed from Bourbon all the way uptown to Claiborne street. It will cost you $1.25 each way, and it runs all day. It has reduced hours after 2:00 A.M. (every 30 minutes), but during the day you should see one pass every 10 minutes or so. If you want to see the awesome homes of St. Charles Avenue, and you are staying in the Quarter, then this is the only way to go. There are many restaurants on St. Charles, many of which are open 24 hours. So, if you are done partying on Bourbon, then go to where Bourbon intersects Canal St. and you will see the tracks.
There are a few street cars you can take in New Orleans. These historic streetcars run two daily routes. The St Charles Streetcar runs 24 hrs a day down St Charles Avenue from Canal Street to Claiborne Ave. The Vieux Carre bus runs the perimeter of the French Quarter from 5.00am to 7.15pm. There is also the Riverfront Streetcar which runs from Canal St to Riverview on weekdays 6.00am to midnight and 8.00am to midnight on weekends. These are really inexpensive ways to get around. The St Charles Streetcar is really popular and the best time probably to get on comfortably would be first thing in the morning. You can tour the Garden district via this route. In the afternoon it is really crowded.
NEW ORLEANS STREETCAR. The most enjoyable way to explore a beautiful stretch of New Orleans is to take a ride on the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world, the historic St. Charles Line. Since 1835, the line's green cars have been running from a terminus at Canal and Carondolet streets 13.2 miles through the Central Business District, Garden District, and Uptown to the intersection of South Carrollton and Claiborne avenues. Since 1988, they have been joined by the red cars of the Riverfront Line, which runs along the edge of the French Quarter between Esplanade Avenue and Thalia Street. Fare is $1.25 one-way for the St. Charles Line, $1.50 for the Riverfront Line (exact change). Daily 24 hrs, about every 10 min 7 AM-8 PM, every ½ hr 8 PM-midnight, every hr midnight-7 AM.
Streetcars! Buy a Visitour pass from your hotel. These come in 1 and 3 day denomonations. Cars get pretty crowded and the best place to get it from the Quarter out to the Garden District is at the end of Bourbon and canal. This is the begining of the line. If you get it on Royal, like most people, you may not get a seat.