New Orleans RTA rolls out first new bus since Katrina losses

​The rejuvenation of the financially crippled Regional Transit Authority passed a milestone Thursday as the agency took delivery of its first new bus since floodwaters devastated the vehicle fleet.

The 35-foot vehicle — slightly smaller than the standard RTA coach and equipped to use cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel — is the first of 39 new buses transit officials expect to have on hand by midsummer.

Each new bus will undergo a few weeks of tests before it hits the streets around mid-June, said RTA General Manager Mark Major, who hopes to have all 39 vehicles rolling by early August.

In another sign of progress, Major also announced that the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line will resume full service to its terminus at South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues on June 22. A ceremonial opening featuring neighborhood events along the Carrollton portion of the route will be held June 28.


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