Shortened ferry hours hurting Algiers Point businesses

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 6:21 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Algiers Point has a lot to offer visitors to New Orleans. The neighborhood's charming bed and breakfasts, restaurants and bars give tourists a slower paced alternative to the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter.

But there's a river separating the Point from the rest of the city.

Business owners on the Point complain shortened hours for the Algiers-Canal Street Ferry are now keeping visitors on the east bank of the Mississippi, especially at night.

"It pretty much has affected people's attitude about coming to the Point and to our bed and breakfast," said Hillery Moise, owner of the Bed and Breakfast on the Point.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation took over the ferries with a reduced budget this month. Rather than stopping at midnight, the boats now have their final crossing at 6:15 p.m. week nights and 8 p.m. on weekends.

"It's too early to quit," said Ralph Weaver from Atlanta.

Weaver and New Orleans native Pamela Ryan rode the ferry across to grab a few beers at the Dry Dock Cafe.

"I don't think a bus ride over here compares to the ferry ride," said Ryan. "It's the experience. It's old New Orleans."

The Dry Dock, just steps from the ferry landing, is having a tough summer.

"We've lost a lot of business," said bartender Angie Doyle. "There's no way to get back, especially in the evenings with the tourists."

Back at Moise's Bed and Breakfast, bookings are slow.

"We've had a few cancellations for August, and who wants to stay over here if they have to go to the bridge back and forth?" said Moise. "They might as well stay in the city."

In an effort to make up for the loss of visitors from the ferries, folks on Algiers Point have launched a campaign called "Stay on Point.

They're encouraging the locals to patronize local businesses to help keep them a float through the summer months.

In the meantime, Algiers Point business owners are lobbying the RTA to bring back ferry service through midnight.

The authority's private transportation manager Veolia is putting together a plan to run the ferries.

 

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