Getting Around New Orleans Without a CarBy Ivory M. Jones
Canal Streetcar (Photo: Joshua Brasted)
You’ve booked your flight and made your hotel reservation — next stop, New Orleans! Now it’s time to book a rental car, right? Not so fast. You can explore the sights and the sounds of the Big Easy without having to worry about parking (or one of those pesky driver licenses). Here are four popular ways:
Transportation in a Swipe
Thanks to the recent introduction of companies such as Uber and Curb to the New Orleans market, traditional cabs are no longer the only option for prospective passengers. The popular app-based transportation networks put private drivers at customers’ fingertips by allowing them to reserve car service and pay with a simple swipe on their phones. Curb makes traveling even more convenient for passengers by allowing them to also pay with cash.
Let the Bike Wheels Roll
Taking to the streets via bicycle is another great way to take in all the city has to offer. Since 2008, New Orleans has added 87 miles of bikeways to the city, making it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country according to BikeEasy.org, While bikeshare services have yet to make their way to the city, several rental companies like The American Bicycle Rental Company, Bike Nola and Crescent City Bike Tours make it easy to see the beautiful city up close and personal at your own pace.
Hop the New Orleans Streetcar
If you get tired while biking your way through town, then have no fear. The city’s public transportation system, the Regional Transit Authority‘s (RTA) bus fleet feature bike racks, allowing travelers to take their bicycles along for the ride. Best of all, this service is provided at no additional cost to the $1.25 fare, allowing riders to expand their sightseeing options throughout the city for less than $3.00 round trip.
In addition to buses, RTA also operates three iconic streetcar lines that travel around the city, with plans underway to expand streetcar service with an additional line that will travel into the historic Treme neighborhood. Hopping aboard the streetcars provide riders with the chance to take in such visitor-friendly locales as Audubon Zoo, New Orleans Museum of Art and the French Market.
Walk This Way
If all else fails, the close proximity of the city’s more popular tourist attractions like the French Quarter, Frenchman Street and Jackson Square also make it easy to get around on foot. With plenty of sightseeing, shopping and dining options along the way, a leisurely stroll is always a great option.
With so many ways to travel throughout the city, it’s easy to see why so many flock to The Big Easy. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head on down!