"Despite fewer routes and fewer vehicles since Hurricane Katrina struck nine years ago, public transit in New Orleans costs comparatively more than several similarly-sized cities, according to a new study that analyzed federal data of transit systems nationwide," reports Richard Rainey in one of the two articles he wrote for the Times Picayune.
Moreover, while New Orleans has restored 86 percent of its pre-Katrina population, only 36 percent of its bus and street car services have been restored.
"The private company running the Regional Transit Authority spent $168 for every hour each bus and streetcar ran in 2012, according to the study by advocacy group Ride New Orleans. Among eight cities of similar size examined in the study, Minneapolis had the next highest cost at $140 an hour, and the lowest was Little Rock at $74."
The report comes as Veolia Transportation Services, the private contractor managing the Regional Transit Authority, is considering a strategy that would include a fare increase to help fund a $5 million service expansion—and close the gap on a $10 million budget shortfall.