Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- State Sen. David Heitmeier, D-Algiers, confirmed there is an agreement in principal between the RTA, its transit manager Veolia Transportation and the state Department of Transportation and Development.

Veolia would operate the Algiers-Canal Street and Chalmette ferries.

DOTD has been running the ferries on a temporary basis since this past summer. The state decided it did not have the money to keep the ferry operation without a subsidy from Crescent City Connection toll money.

The tolls rolled off the bridge earlier this year.

A new fare structure to ride the ferries has already been approved.

It is uncertain when Veolia and the RTA will actually take over.

Since Veolia is a French company. It needs special permission from the federal government to operate in U.S. navigable waters.

Heitmeier said as soon as the company gets that waiver, it could be operating the boats within 30 days.

Heitmerer said when Veolia takes over the ferry schedule would likely be extended. The new hours of operation would be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The RTA is expected to officially announce the agreement Wednesday.

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