The New Orleans ferries are under new management just months after their future was put into question. Veolia, the same group that administers the RTA locally, agreed to terms with the state and took over the ferry operation Monday.
The State of Louisiana came close to shutting down the ferries earlier this year due to lack of funds.
The State Department of Transportation and Development has been running the ferries on an abbreviated schedule during contract negotiations with Veolia.
“We have put in place the tools necessary and we have created an operational structure that will preserve the operation of the ferries,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Tuesday.
With the change in management comes a change in the way the ferries will be operated.
Pedestrians, who currently are riding the ferries for free, will soon have to pay $2 each way. Drivers will also pay $2, with each rider paying another $1.
Riders are also hoping that Veolia will bring back an 18-hour schedule.
“Fares will go into effect on Feb. 23,” said Justin Augustine, the Vice President of Veolia. “In terms of extended hours, we are working an operation plan together with our operations crew to insure that we can provide extended hours. We’re not there yet.”
Currently the ferry from Algiers to Canal Street stops running about 7 p.m.
“It’s really, really important,” said Dawn Taylor, on extending the hours. “There are a lot of people on this side who don’t even have cars. The only way for them to get back and forth to work is the ferry.”
Veolia said it will put extended hours of operation on the boats for Mardi Gras. The schedule will be announced at a later date.