Ride New Orleans

Our vision is a New Orleans region in which taking transit - by necessity or choice - enables full access to jobs, education, health care, and other needs that ensure the equitable, thriving community that all residents deserve.

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Category: Community Improvement
Parish: Orleans
Almost 13 years after the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Katrina, pockets of the city are experiencing rapid growth and wealth creation, but many services still lag in New Orleans and lower-income and historically disadvantaged local residents face obstacles that diminish their access to opportunity. Access to frequent and reliable transit is one of those obstacles.

An analysis of regional job accessibility via transit and via a car clearly illustrates this point. The average New Orleanian with a car can access 86 percent of the region's jobs in 30 minutes or less. If the same New Orleanian relies on transit, she can access only 11 percent of the region's jobs in the same 30-minute period. In a city with both a high poverty rate and a high carlessness rate, that is unacceptable if we want to address inequality and enhance access to opportunity.

To improve this situation, Ride New Orleans focuses on three primary programmatic areas:

• "Driving the conversation" - we prioritize research and data analysis on the best ways to improve the system and communicate that information to stakeholders and regional leaders. Our annual State of Transit in New Orleans report and other published reports provide an independent, data-driven analysis of transit shortcomings and potential solutions.

• "Building the rider voice" - we work directly with transit riders to build their power and communicate their ideas for change. Good planning is not only the best and most current theories - it is the human element of how people actually live and experience their city. Current riders are the ones who ultimately understand best what improvements the system needs and we partner with riders throughout the city to win those improvements.

• "Winning tangible change" - we tie our grassroots and policy analysis work together with targeted campaigns to win specific transit improvements. True improvements will happen piece by piece with hard and steady work focused on the immediately practical while keeping our eyes on the long-term greater good. In the last year, we led campaigns for more benches and shelters at bus stops, more cross-parish transit service, a rider-friendly ferry terminal design, and a visionary long-term strategic transit plan for the RTA.