Canal Street ferry to keep carrying autos, for now

The Canal Street-Algiers Point ferry will continue offering both auto and pedestrian service next week, despite earlier plans by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to switch to a pedestrian-only boat on Monday.

That ferry, the Frank X. Armiger, is not ready to be deployed, as the vessel’s generator stopped working during a scheduled quarterly inspection. The state agency said it is working on the problem and will put the boat back in service once it is repaired and cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Canal Street ferry carried about 1.2 million pedestrians and 182,000 vehicles across the Mississippi River last year. DOTD wants to switch to a pedestrian-only boat because it is cheaper to operate.

The state is currently operating the Canal Street ferry on a limited schedule. The Regional Transit Authority is preparing a proposal to take over the New Orleans-area ferries and is expected to present that plan in the next few months.

Information about the ferry schedules can be found at www.dotd.la.gov/ferry.