Transportation, neighborhoods and nearby destinations. Plus a Cajun country road trip.
Airport Shuttle is the official ground transportation to/from the Louis Armstrong International Airport and downtown hotels. Fares: $20/person, $38 round trip. Shuttles depart the airport every 15 minutes until the last flight of the day. Arrivals: Purchase tickets at the desks across from the baggage carousels. Departures: Call 504.522.3500 no later than 24 hours before your flight. Pickups will be no less than 2 1/2 hours before flight time. www.airportshuttleneworleans.com.
A ferry ($2 each way; $1/seniors, free age 2 and under) has been crossing the Mississippi River since 1827. The shuttle runs from Canal Street to Algiers Point M-Th, 6 am-9:45 pm; F, 6 am-11:45 pm; Sa, 10:30 am-11:45 pm; and Su, 10:30 am-9:45 pm.
The city bus system is operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Fares: Standard fare is $1.25; express, $1.50; seniors, 40¢; transfers, 25¢. RTA VisiTour™ passes (good for boarding on all RTA buses and streetcars within Orleans Parish) are another option. One-day passes (sold onboard) are $3, three-day passes are $9, 31-day passes are $55. For routes, timetables, and passes, visit www.norta.com or call 504.248.3900.
Mule-drawn carriages can be hired at the entrance to Jackson Square for narrated tours of the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods. Half-hour tours: $20/ person; one-hour tours $40/person. Half-hour private carriage tours (accommodating up to four passengers): $100. www.royalcarriagesneworleans.com. 504.943.8820.
Parking in the French Quarter and the Central Business District is rarely easy. Read all posted signs. Some areas without meters allow free two-hour parking. If your car is towed, call 504.565.7450. The auto pound is located at 400 N. Claiborne Ave. (at Conti St.). Fees are steep; bring cash or a credit card (credit cards accepted only with supplementary ID).
Though the French Quarter and Central Business District (CBD) are fairly compact, exploring other parts of the city is best done by car. Rental car agencies are plentiful in the CBD as well as at the Louis Armstrong International Airport and in neighboring Metairie.
New Orleans’ legendary streetcar system features four lines, all of which connect on Canal Street. The St. Charles line leaves from the corner of Canal and Carondelet (Bourbon becomes Carondelet on the other side of Canal) and runs Uptown; the Loyola line offers access to the Superdome and Union Passenger Terminal; the Riverfront line travels along the Mississippi through the lower French Quarter; the Canal line continues to the end of Canal Street (cars marked “Cemeteries”), with a “spur” onto Carrollton (cars marked “City Park”). The new Rampart/St.Claude line runs from Union Passenger Terminal to Elysian Fields Avenue. Standard fare is $1.25. Jazzy Passes™ (allowing unlimited boarding) are $3 for one day (available onboard), $9 for three days and $55 for 31 days. www.norta.com. 504.248.3900.