New bus routes debut on Sunday, along with four days of free rides

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Uptown Messenger file photo

The 11 Magazine bus will run 24 hours under the New Links plan.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will introduce its revamped New Links routes and schedule on Sunday (Sept. 25). To mark the occasion, it is offering a four-day free fare promotion from Sunday to Thursday (Sept. 28).

The free fares will allow riders to adjust to RTA’s bus system redesign with new routes without having to pay for their trips.

As new bus routes debut, riders can board without payment on all RTA buses, streetcars and the Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry during the four-day period. The Chalmette-Lower Algiers ferry is not included in the free fare promotion.

The City Council authorized the resolution by Transportation Chair and District D Councilman Eugene Green on Sept. 15 to implement of RTA’s free fares for the the new network’s debut. The fare suspension was approved by the RTA Board of Commissioners at their August meeting.

The route changes are designed to transform the transit network by connecting more riders to jobs, schools, health care and other necessities with shorter trips and wait times systemwide.

To help achieve these goals, the agency is introducing a system of bus hubs. The central hub is in front of the Main Library on Loyola Avenue in the Central Business District and additional smaller hubs are in New Orleans East, Gentilly Woods, the Cemeteries Transit Center and Wilty Terminal on the West Bank.

As the lead agency in the New Links study from 2019 to 2021, RTA worked closely with the Regional Planning Commission and sister agencies, Jefferson Transit (JeT) and St. Bernard Urban Rapid Transit (SBURT) to reimagine transit within the region.

The two-year study with major public input sought to meet the changing needs of riders. The new bus routes are the final part of the agency’s New Links implementation and the first meaningful network redesign since 2004.

The RTA’s New Links Bus Network is designed to provide better access to job centers and major destinations such as parks, health-care centers and grocery stores; shorter waits, with more buses running along key routes; more all-day, weekend and late-night service; and more connections and quicker transfers.

A summary of the changes in the major Uptown routes is below. Click here for a map and schedule of the New Links routes. If you don’t see your route below, click here for a list of the new routes with links to maps and schedules or here for a route translation guide. And if you don’t know what bus to take, the RTA trip planner can help you with your route.

Broad-Napoleon: The former 94 Broad is now the 9 Broad-Napoleon, a high-frequency 24-hour cross-town bus route. The new route extends down Napoleon Avenue to Tchoupitoulas Street. NASA and Village de L’Est are no longer serviced by this route, but it connects to other lines at the Gentilly Woods Hub.

Magazine: The 11 Magazine is now a 24-hour route beginning Sunday. The name remains the same, but there are some route changes. It no longer extends up Magazine to the Audubon Zoo. Instead, the bus turns Jefferson Avenue and takes Tchoupitoulas to Children’s Hospital. Heading downtown, the Magazine bus turns down Poydras Avenue to terminate at the Main Library Hub.

Louisiana: The 27 Louisiana is now scheduled to arrive every 25 minutes from 5 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. the next morning. The route extends down Tchoupitoulas to Walmart. Instead of taking Washington, the bus continues down Toledano to Louisiana.

Leonidas-Gentilly (Carrollton): The 90 Carrollton is now the 31 Leonidas-Gentilly. It runs every 60 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight. Passengers on the section shared with the 32 Leonidas-Treme can catch the 31 or 32 bus every 30 minutes. The 31 will extend to Children’s Hospital whenever the roadwork and blockades end. Instead of terminating at Elysian Fields, the route extends to the Gentilly Woods Hub so passengers can travel to the Gentilly Woods shopping area and connect with other lines at the Hub.

Leonidas-Treme: The 32 Leonidas-Treme runs hourly from 5 a.m. to midnight. Passengers on the trunk shared with the 32 Leonidas-Treme can catch the 31 or 32 bus every 30 minutes. The 32 no longer serves the Audubon Zoo and terminates at St. Charles and Carrollton. The Leonidas-Treme will extend to Children’s Hospital when the roadwork ends.

St. Bernard-Claiborne: The 51 St. Bernard-St. Anthony and the 16 South Claiborne routes have been combined to create the 51 St. Bernard-Claiborne, which runs every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight. This new cross-town route connects with other routes at the Main Library Hub. It no longer serves Mirabeau Avenue, St. Anthony Street, the University of New Orleans or Poydras to Canal Street.

Paris-Broadmoor: The 52 St. Bernard-Paris Avenue and the 28 Martin Luther King Boulevard have been replaced by the 52 Paris-Broadmoor. The new cross-town route runs every half hour from 5 a.m. to midnight and connects to other routes at the Main Library Hub. The 52 bus provides service to the University of New Orleans and to Xavier University and Hollygrove. It adds service along Earhart Boulevard.

Paris-Claiborne Owl: The 53 Paris-Claiborne Owl crosstown bus only comes out at night, running every 30 minutes from midnight to 5 a.m. The new route connects to 24-hour routes at the Main Library Hub. It replaces the overnight rides of the 16 South Claiborne and the 52 St. Bernard-Paris.

Franklin-Freret: The 57 Franklin-Freret replaces the 57 Franklin and the 15 Freret. The new cross-town route connects to SUNO, the Lakefront Arena, Tulane and Loyola universities, and the Main Library Hub. Following the end of roadwork, the route will extend to the zoo. It also serves North Claiborne from Franklin Avenue to Orleans Avenue.

Jackson-Esplanade: There are no route changes to the 91 Jackson-Esplanade. It will run every 20 minutes, instead of every half hour, during peak service times.

For more information, riders can visit or call Rideline at 504-248-3900. Riders can also receive Information via text by texting RTAUpdates to 41411.

Regional Transit Authority

New Links route map for Uptown. Click here for a PDF of the map.

One thought on “New bus routes debut on Sunday, along with four days of free rides

  1. Thank you for reporting on this. The bus route changes claim to be intended to improve access to work places, schools, grocery & essential shopping, parks and recreation, but in fact are achieving the opposite. The changes to #10 Magazine and the elimination of #11 Tchoupitoulas have cut off easy access to grocery & essential shopping at Walmart on Tchoup, Rouses on Tchoup, Arabella Whole Foods, Walgreens on Magazine & Clements Hardware, among many others; cut off easy access to parks & recreation at Audubon Park, Riverview Park, Audubon Zoo, Lyons Playground, Lyons Recreation Center, Boettner Park, Audubon Aquarium, etc; cut off easy access to schools like Lycee Francais, Ecole Bilingue, Ben Franklin, Vamonos NOLA, JCC Uptown, Laurel Academy, etc.
    Elimination of the #5 route has cut off efficient, walkable/bikeable access to hundreds of work places, schools, museums, historical sites, dining & entertainment in the entire Quarter, as well as access to Crescent Park, Stallings Recreation Center, Mickey Markey Playground, etc in the Bywater & Marigny neighborhoods.
    This is just a short, incomplete, list based on the routes I personally use most in my daily life. I can’t even begin to comprehend the impact city-wide on residents who rely on public transit every day, like my family does. I am devastated and at a loss at what to do next.

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