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Wheelchair Accessibility in New Orleans
Wheelchair Accessibility in New Orleans
Wheelchair Accessibility in New Orleans

Navigating New Orleans in a Wheelchair

FAQs to Help Plan your Perfect Trip to NOLA

While planning a trip is always exciting, visiting a new city in a wheelchair often comes with a laundry list of logistical questions. Learn how to navigate the city and make the most of your visit with these Frequently Asked Questions about wheelchair accessibility in New Orleans.

Justen Williams
Exploring the French Quarter by Wheelchair

How Can I Get from the Airport to My Hotel?

Both We Lift Rideshare and Alert Transportation's can transport wheelchair users around the city. Trasports must be booked in advance.

Another option for travelers is to rent a wheelchair-accessible minivan from  Superior Van & Mobility. Handicapped-accessible minivans have lowered floors, power doors, and power ramps, and hand controls and steering knobs are available upon request (license certifications required). A minivan seats up to three wheelchair users and three ambulatory passengers (one being the driver).  The company also offers convenient delivery and pick-up service for a fee. 

Finally, the 202 Airport Express Bus is an excellent option for public transportation, taking passengers directly from MSY to Downtown New Orleans near the library. For more information, click here

Accessibility in New Orleans | Arriving at the Airport - Episode 1
Accessibility in New Orleans | Arriving at the Airport - Episode 1

How Can I Tour the City?

Almost all of the big red City Sightseeing New Orleans buses are wheelchair and scooter accessible.  A full two-hour loop takes passengers to 18 narrated stops all across the city.  The Hop-On Hop-Off feature allows travelers the option of exploring a specific area at their own pace, but please note that the buses can only carry one wheelchair user at a time.  The service operates from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.  The buses do not operate when there are city-wide street closures (often for parades and holidays)—check directly with the company for specific dates. Guests with disabilities are asked to contact City Sightseeing 24 hours in advance. It's also a good idea to map out the stops for boarding and de-boarding prior to riding to ensure that the area you want to explore is accessible. 

Justen Williams
Riverfront Streetcar

Can I Ride a Streetcar in a Wheelchair?

The Canal Street, Riverfront, and Rampart streetcars lines are accessible to wheelchair users.  These red streetcars have motorized lifts that elevate riders and a designated seating area where a wheelchair can be secured.  The green streetcars on the St. Charles Avenue line are National Historic Landmarks and unfortunately were not designed to accommodate wheelchairs and cannot be altered due to the historic designation.

The RTA asks wheelchair users to please arrive five minutes earlier than the streetcar is scheduled to arrive.  The door to the lift is located in the middle of the streetcar.  Wheel your chair onto the platform and tell the operator you need to use it.  The streetcar operator will tie down your wheelchair to prevent it from moving while the streetcar rumbles down the track.  Be sure to tell the streetcar operator your destination.  As the streetcar approaches your stop, tug on the pull cord.

The Regional Transit Authority—RTA—system map can be viewed online. The free Le Pass app allows travelers to track buses and streetcars in real time, purchase tickets, and plan a route. 

For a list of all RTA Paratransit Services and FAQs, see their Transit Accessibility page here.

Where Can I Rent Medical Equipment?

Mr. Wheelchair rents mobility equipment (wheelchairs, scooters, and knee scooters). Delivery and pick-up are complimentary. Just call the company in advance of your trip to arrange.

Mobility City New Orleans is a mobility equipment repair, rental, sales, and sanitization company. They will come to you! Free delivery and pick up to most areas in Greater New Orleans.

What Do Wheelchair Users Need to Know About New Orleans Restaurants?

Famous for its food, New Orleans is a culinary paradise. Fabulous and wheelchair-accessible establishments can be found in every neighborhood. When making a reservation, always mention you use a wheelchair. Given that many restaurants are located in historic buildings, some dining areas/bars may be inaccessible and the restrooms might not accommodate a wheelchair user. Roll Mobility is another great resource that includes reviews and photos from actual users of local restaurants, attractions, and more. 

Is the French Quarter Wheelchair Accessible?

While it’s true that the historic nature of the French Quarter presents some logistical issues (broken sidewalks, narrow entrances), there’s still a lot of the famous neighborhood that can be enjoyed via wheelchair. Use our Guide to Accessible New Orleans for trip planning inspiration in the French Quarter and beyond.