Earlier this month, hours on the Algiers ferry route, which traditionally had crossed the Mississippi River until midnight at no cost to passengers (cars were charged $1), were curtailed. The reason? The end of the tolls on the Algiers side of the Crescent City Connection, which voters kayoed last year. (New Orleanians are still luckier than those who depended on the Gretna ferry, which previously was discontinued.)
Now Veolia Transportation, which operates the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), is in discussion with the state to begin managing ferry operations. Among its proposals is a new fare structure for the Algiers ferry, which would include a $2 crossing charge, $1 for seniors and the disabled and a $75 monthly pass. Have an opinion on that? There will be a public hearing on the fare hikes in the New Orleans City Council chamber at 5 p.m. Aug. 5.
According to the group Friends of the Ferry, the first public ferry connecting New Orleans to the Algiers neighborhood began running in 1827. It docked not at the foot of Canal Street, but at Jackson Square. — Kevin Allman— The original version of this story indicated that Veolia Transportation, not the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD), is currently managing the Algiers ferry. Veolia is currently in discussion with the state about the possibility of taking over management of the local ferry system. Gambit regrets the error.