NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority launched a new series of routes on Sunday, the first major route change since interim service was introduced after Hurricane Katrina. Officials say riders can expect to provide shorter trips and reduced wait times for buses.

“So, the kickoff, I think the flip was switched at approximately 4 a.m. this morning, so we’ve had a lot of staff of our team up early in the morning to make sure this works,” RTA Commissioner Fred Neal told WGNO’s Jordan Lippincott.

The RTA says the new bus routes have been in the works for the past two years, aimed at reorganizing bus routes and frequencies to improve access and travel times for riders. Some riders told us they find the new schedule easier to read.

“I’m going to Walmart right now, and I just was curious if the number changed on the bus, and I find that it’s going to be the same, so I think for most people, it will take at least a week to transition into the new system,” said bus rider Mark James.

Others say they have heard mixed reviews from fellow riders so far, but have full confidence in the RTA.

“I think it may take some time for us to get used to it, but I think, in the long run, it’s definitely going to pay off and work for all of us,” added bus rider Kylaon Johnson.

Currently, the RTA is asking for the public’s patience and feedback on the new routes. If you have questions or concerns, you’re asked to call Customer Care Rideline at 504-248-3900.

“And over the next few months, we will think about making some changes, but for now, this is our network, and we want to get people used to it and implement it, and we’re really excited,” said Neal.

To allow riders to adjust to the new routes, the RTA is offering free rides through Thursday, September 29. See the new routes by clicking here.

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