Algiers suffers without ferry service

Ferry outages hurting local tourism, businesses

Thomas Perumean
September 24, 2019 - 9:29 am

The familiar old Algiers Ferry is a New Orleans fixture, plying the Mississippi as it has done since the days before the Great Purchase.  

But delays and cancellation of service is becoming just as common.  And the loss of the ferry service is starting to hurt west bank businesses who count those indulging in the tradition of crossing the water by boat.  

Routine maintenance caused NORTA to pull one ferry out of service.  Left with just one ferry serving the business crossing, the second boat soon developed problems and it's been docked since September 15.  

While NORTA's contractor Transdev runs buses, Algiers businesses says it's the ferry ride that draw tourists to their side of the river.

According to the Times-Picayune/Advocate, one particular business, Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry, the loss of tourism has hit them in the pocketbook.  

It's the same with Algiers restaurateurs: The owners of a Delaronde Street pizza parlour and an English pub on Pelican Avenue both have seen a loss near 50% of their business.  

NORTA says the repairs of the 40-year-old Colonel Frank X. Armiger should be repaired within two weeks.  But that means Algiers will not see a restoration of service until October.  

Meanwhile, two new boats, built at a cost of $10,000,000 sit idle, unlicensed, and unable to pass Coast Guard inspections and therefore uncertified to operate.  

NORTA took back management of the ferries at Algiers and Chalmette and is looking for a new operator to run the boats.  

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