Blue Bikes, RTA, and a new protected bikeway in Algiers — 3 Important Updates You Should Know about New Orleans’ Streets

A lot is happening in the world and in New Orleans. We understand that it’s hard to keep track of everything. So we decided to boil down a few key updates you should know about New Orleans’ streets this week.

1. Blue Bikes Suspends Services Until Further Notice

In response to New Orleans’ efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by placing ‘shelter-in-place’ order for the city, Blue Bikes is suspending services until further notice.  

They announced the decision by email and social media earlier. Here is a quote from their Facebook post: 

Given these extraordinary circumstances, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend our JUMP Blue Bikes service in New Orleans until further notice. We will also pause monthly charges for all JUMP subscription plans and will resume these charges when we return to service. Uber rides and Uber Eats remain available in your area.

We’re sad to see New Orleans’ community members no longer have a bikeshare option in their city. We support and advocate for making various modes of transportation like walking, biking, driving, public transit, more accessible and equitable in our city. The bikeshare system that Blue Bikes provided undoubtedly gave our community another option to travel the city by bike.

As a member of our coalition, we also want to support Blue Bikes and their employees in making this transition in coordination with the city and we look forward to their safe and timely return. 

2. RTA Will Not Charge for Fares, but Reduces Service

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) had already reduced all of their service to a Saturday schedule. However, now they will also be further reducing their service and even suspending some routes. To see exactly which routes are reduced and suspended, visit their website here.

The RTA will also be eliminating fares until further notice. In line with what RTA and city officials have said, we strongly encourage you not to ride public transportation at this moment unless absolutely necessary. 

3. City Continues Rapid-build of Low-Stress Bikeway Network in Algiers

Even as city officials respond to the spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the City’s Office of Transportation, and the Department of Public Works moved forward with crucial infrastructure improvements to make city streets safe and accessible to every resident. The new protected bike lanes, high-visibility crosswalks, and new stretches of sidewalks on Garden Oaks Drive add up to the first completed segment of the City’s Moving New Orleans Bikes initiative. 

Our Coalition member and campaign manager at Bike Easy, Rob Henig Bell, tried out these new improvements and recorded the experience. You can check out the experience for yourself on our Facebook.

We’re proud to support the Mayor and the City in developing and now making real this Moving New Orleans Bikes initiative. The New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition will continue to work with community residents and local leaders to ensure widespread public engagement with the benefits Complete Streets and better biking, walking, and transit infrastructure provide to everyone on the road.

The Garden Oaks improvements include one-way protected bike lanes on both sides of the street, a road diet from four lanes of vehicular traffic to two, new and improved sidewalks with accessible curb ramps, new bus pads for residents to enter and exit the bus, yellow center-line stripping and more. They’re located on Garden Oaks Drive from Old Behrman Highway to General De Gaulle Drive in Algiers.