NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans residents will have an easier time getting to voting polls this year.
Last Thursday, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced, all fees will be waived on streetcars, ferries and busses for riders on official election days. It will begin this Saturday, July 11th, 2020.
The waiver of fees was approved by the New Orleans City Council on July 2nd, 2020.
“Oftentimes, transportation is one of those barriers where folks want to get out and exercise their right to vote but they just don’t have a way to the polls,” CEO of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, Alex Wiggins told WGNO. “So, we figured that we could be helpful.”
There are no requirements to qualify for the free fare and regularly scheduled routes will remain in place on voting day.
“Some of our lines operate 24 hours! So, one minute after midnight until midnight that day is when we’ll offer this option,” said Wiggins.
To maximize health safety, Wiggins told us, RTA has and will continue to sanitize busses, streetcars and ferries every 24 hours. Operators will sit behind a barrier to protect themselves. All passengers are required to wear a mask.
“I’m satisfied that we’re doing everything we can to mitigate,” Wiggins shared. “Obviously, we’ll promote social distancing. We don’t want the busses to be standing crowded.”
The RTA CEO hopes the free fares will encourage residents to make their voices heard and vote. “For someone who wants to vote and doesn’t have a way to get there, we want them to rely on the RTA,” explained Wiggins.