Streetcars return to New Orleans' Canal Street

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NEW ORLEANS -- They won't be named Desire, but streetcars will once again roll along New Orleans popular Canal Street after a 40-year absence.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority said it will resume revenue service of the Canal Streetcar line at 3:10 a.m. on April 18.

The fleet of 24, "bright, functional," red streetcars will travel a 5.5 mile route from the French Market, along Canal Street, through the Central Business District of New Orleans, and into the Mid-City area. The line will end at City Park Avenue and the historic city cemeteries, according to the transit authority. A ride costs $1.25 each way.

The cars resemble the familiar Perley Thomas models of old, although with all the modern conveniences. For instance, each car is air-conditioned, has a high-tech, low-noise braking system, and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility lifts for the handicapped.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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