Carnival, that most delightful yet maddening time to live in New Orleans, is upon us. With it come all the usual hassles: nonexistent parking spaces, flat bike tires, barricades you have to walk 37 blocks to get past — plus big changes to public transit over the next three weekends.
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) publishes an annual guide to its detours and route changes during the thick of parade season. Here's the link
, which has sections for routes in Uptown, on the West Bank and in the French Quarter, as well as during Endymion and on Fat Tuesday.
In general, some advice and highlights:
During Krewe du Vieux and Krewe Delusion this Saturday, the St. Charles Avenue streetcar will stop at Howard Avenue and the Canal Street streetcar will stop at Liberty Street. (Take note, it's a pretty good hoof from those points to the Quarter.) The 5-Marigny/Bywater bus will run between Elysian Fields and Poland avenues from 4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Parade detours go into effect on all RTA routes two hours ahead of the parade's start time and continue until the parade has cleared the transit route. Transit service won't cross parades.
Don't look for a streetcar on the St. Charles Avenue line from Thursday, Feb. 8 through Monday, Feb. 12 — shuttle buses will run on that line instead.
Many of the major downtown bus routes (55-Elysian Fields, 57-Franklin, 80-Louisa/Desire, 88-St. Claude) have detours and adjustments to pay mind to ahead of Krewe of Chewbacchus on Feb. 3. The 5-Marigny bus will stop running at 5 p.m.
Several routes that run between neighborhoods are affected by the Endymion parade. Heads up for changes on the 27-Louisiana, 32-Leonidas/Treme, 90-Carrollton, 84-Galvez and 94-Broad bus routes. The Canal and Rampart streetcars also shut down during the parade (possibly due to the presence of Chads
Most buses run their Saturday schedule on Fat Tuesday, but there's no St. Charles or Rampart streetcar or shuttle bus service.
In addition to Mardi Gras-related detours, check the regular service alerts
before you head out. There are several routes that currently are running detours due to road conditions (oof) or construction, and there are some recent route changes. A major construction-related detour is going on on the 11-Magazine bus route.