Don’t want to drive during Mardi Gras? Here’s how to get around

The Krewe of Bacchus makes it way on the Uptown parade route during Mardi Gras 2017 in New Orleans on Sunday, February 26, 2017. (Photo by Brett Duke, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)

The Krewe of Bacchus makes it way on the Uptown parade route during Mardi Gras 2017 in New Orleans on Sunday, February 26, 2017. (Photo by Brett Duke, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)

It’s a good idea to avoid driving to parades over the next couple of weeks if you can. Between the crowds and the lack of parking options, it’s more of a headache than it’s worth.

Regardless of the mode of transportation, make sure to download a parade tracker app (WDSU parade tracker is a good option). This will help you get a sense of parade routes and where to go in case you want to catch the parade or avoid it entirely.

These are several alternatives available should you choose not to drive.

Bus

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has a Mardi Gras Guide that lets you know all of the planned detours and service adjustments for bus and streetcar routes during Mardi Gras parades around New Orleans. Click here for more information.

The RTA has planned detours for bus routes that cross parade lines starting two hours ahead of the parades and stay in place until clean-up crews are done. Should you choose to take public transit over the next couple of weekends to get around town, the RTA recommends downloading the GoMobile app. It will help you stay aware of any service alerts, help you plan your trip, buy tickets and track the bus and streetcar in real-time.

Bike

New Orleans is taking baby steps towards becoming more bike friendly by adding more bike lanes and as of last year adding bike rental company, Blue Bikes, as a transportation option in town.

You can visit bluebikes.com to see a map of all the Blue Bike rental hubs around New Orleans. The website offers different payment options such as a pay as you go option of $.10 per minute after a one-time $5 signup fee. Your payment method will be charged based on your usage.

This map is from 2017, but shows all existing and planned bike lanes around New Orleans, to give an idea of ways to get around safely on a bike.

Pedicabs

Feel like biking, but don’t want to pedal? There are plenty of pedicab drivers parked along the Canal Street downtown corridor, in the French Quarter and in the Marigny and Garden Districts.

Pedicabs have a maximum capacity of two people per vehicle. Each ride is $5 for the first six blocks and $1 per person after that.

Taxi

The base meter fare for a cab is set at $3.50 plus $2.00 per mile or .25 every 40 seconds if stuck in traffic. Riders should make sure to take only licensed New Orleans taxis that have been certified through the city’s Department of Safety and Permits.

Ride-share company Uber has not announced any special Mardi Gras deals this year. Uber shared the following tips for residents using the ride share service to get to and from the parade route. For more information click here.

Lyft is a sponsor of Family Gras in Jefferson Parish and will be offering riders a $2 discount off of two rides to and from the event if they use the code FAMILYGRAS2019. In New Orleans the company will provide WiFi hotspots along the Uptown parade route at major intersections along St. Charles Avenue, such as Napoleon Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Poydras Street. Parade-goers should look for the pink Lyft balloons and access free Wi-Fi through the network #LYFTKREWE.

For more information visit NOLA Ready.

This article has been updated with information regarding the Lyft ride share service during Mardi Gras.