NEW ORLEANS VIEUX CARRÉ BUS LINE
Page created March 20, 2001. Last updated September 18, 2014.|
©2001-2014 Michael Strauch. All rights reserved.
NOPSI OPERATION:Streetcar, trolley coach, and motor coach lines used to travel the interior streets of the French Quarter. City Park and Esplanade ran via Dauphine, Canal, and Burgundy. Desire, Franklin, and Express 92 ran via Royal, Canal, and Bourbon.
But in the late sixties and early seventies, preservation movements began to maintain the historic nature of the Quarter and its buildings. One of the objectives was to minimize heavy traffic that could place stress on foundations and walls. Another was to provide pedestrian malls on Royal and Bourbon Streets. NOPSI was already detouring buses off the latter two streets from Royal via Orleans, Dauphine, Canal, Burgundy, and Esplanade to the regular Desire, Franklin, and 92 lines during 1973.
Public Service cooperated with the goals by routing all full-size buses on perimeter streets (North Peters, Decatur, Canal, North Rampart, and Esplanade). Desire, Franklin, and 92 circled the Quarter. City Park used Basin and Crozat, Esplanade used N. Rampart and Basin. These moves benefitted NOPSI bus lines by speeding up service around congestion.
To replace interior service, the new Vieux Carré bus line was introduced January 1, 1974. This line had two routes that started at Royal and Elysian Fields. Peak hour buses ran via Royal, Canal, and Bourbon. Off-peak buses ran via Royal, Esplanade, Dauphine, Iberville, Chartres, St. Peter, N. Rampart, St. Ann, Chartres to Elysian Fields. During peak hours, the new Bourbon Street pedestrian mall barriers were removed.
For the service, Public Service introduced eight Flxette buses (nos. 1000-1007) with trolley-style bodies built at Carrollton Shops. The buses wore olive green and red streetcar colors.
The Flxettes were supplemented in 1981 with
three Wayne Transettes on Chevy chassis in white livery and numbered 1008-1010. These cutaway buses
were not modified to look like trolleys.
FLXETTE 512KE-F73 BUSES:First of the series Flxette 1000 on Dauphine at Bienville Sts in a photo by Earl Hampton, Jr. The light color building on the left is the Chateau LeMoyne hotel. One photo added 04/12/11.
Flxette 1002 is featured in a Jenkins Enterprises postcard advertising Bourbon Street; cross street is St. Peter. On the left is the 500 Club burlesque house, once owned by Leon Prima (Louis' brother) and in 2011 home to Bourbon Street Blues Company. Quoting the reverse: "By Day, fine restaurants, interesting patios, curio shops and art galleries. By night, Jazz bands, famous entertainers and dancing girls. Entertainment to suit every individual. Also seen is the Street Car Bus." One photo added 09/19/11.
Flxette 1003 at Iberville and Royal Sts. on the off-peak loop of the French Quarter. To the right is a garage of Solari Parking, now known as Solaris's Parking. In the background is a black sign for Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar.
Flxette 1003 at the Royal St. and Esplanade Ave. terminal in the early 1980s. One photo added 03/19/11.
Flxette 1004 at Canal and Basin Streets in the early 1980s is probably heading for Canal Station.
GMC 266B and Flxette 1005 are among the buses at rest in Canal Station. One photo added 04/12/11.
NORTA OPERATION:RTA acquired the Vieux Carré bus line on July 1, 1983. Apparently the three Wayne Transettes did not last too long, because late that year RTA bought fifteen Carpenter CBW-300 buses numbered 1008-1023. Buses of this series were used on the French Quarter line.
Under RTA ownership, a single route was implemented: from Royal and Elysian Fields via Royal, Esplanade, Dauphine, Baronne, Poydras, Convention Center Blvd., U-turn at Howard Ave., Convention Center, Poydras, Water, Canal, Chartres, Toulouse, Decatur, Dumaine, Chartres, Elysian Fields. In the 1989 enumeration of routes, Vieux Carré was numbered 3.
After Hurricane Katrina, the 3 Vieux Carré bus line was not restored.
The Riverfront streetcar, the 5 Marigny Bywater bus, and the 55 Elysian Fields bus give
service to the Decatur/North Peters corridor along the Mississippi River.
CARPENTER CBW-300 BUSES:Here is Carpenter 1021 signed for Vieux Carré at rest in the Canal Station in early 1984.
BOYERTOWN TVB292 BUSES:In the late 1980s, the RTA bought Boyertown trolley-bodied buses to replace the original replicas. Here is 1043 turning at Decatur and Dumaine (just past Tujague's restaurant) in April 1991.
Boyertown 1043 at Baronne and Canal Sts. in December 1991. Note Lerner Shops on Canal, three doors in from Dauphine.
Boyertown "trolley" 1048 on St. Charles Ave. during the track reconstruction project in a shot by Earl W. Hampton, Jr. One photo added 04/12/11.
CHANCE RT-50 BUSES:
The last buses used were Chance RT-50 trolley body conversions from the late 1990s. Here is number 6 on the 3 Vieux Carré line at Canal and Burgundy Sts. in November 2001. Construction of the future Canal streetcar line out from this point was beginning.