Canal Street ferry to be pedestrians-only starting Monday

The Canal Street-Algiers Point auto and pedestrian ferry will be replaced with a pedestrian-only boat Monday as part of a cost-saving strategy being put in place by the state Department of Transportation and Development.

The route is now served by the M/V Louis B. Porterie, which can carry both cars and pedestrians.

However, the state agency recently completed repairs on the M/V Arminger, a smaller boat that cannot accommodate vehicles but is cheaper to operate, Transportation Department spokeswoman Bambi Hall said.

The Canal Street ferry carried about 1.2 million pedestrians and about 182,000 vehicles across the Mississippi River last year.

The Porterie will be kept as a backup boat for other ferry routes, such as the one from Chalmette to lower Algiers.

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. It would be up to RTA whether to restore vehicular service on the Canal Street route, Hall said.