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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Public transportation from New Orleans airport (MSY) to downtown

January 2014, Weekday afternoon

Our flight arrived in the New Orleans airport before noon, so we decided to take the bus downtown since the cost was only $2 each. And, we are always up for an adventure! I easily found route information on the Jefferson Transit site for the E-2 bus from the airport. I did not think the airport location description I found online was very accurate though. The online information says: The Airport bus stop is on the second level of the airport, near the Delta counter, in the median (look for the sign and bench). Our stop is located outside of Door #7 on the UPPER LEVEL.
view of the bus stop from our seats

These directions were somewhat unclear, because the doors were not numbered inside the terminal. Fortunately, there are information desks inside each concourse, so we found the stop without too much trouble.

Here are the directions we followed: We flew Delta and arrived in concourse D. We followed the signs downstairs to baggage claim, and then we went back upstairs, since the directions said that the bus stop is on the upper level. We did not see any door numbers, so we stopped at the information desk in concourse D to ask about the bus stop. The bus stop is in concourse C. We walked over to concourse C, which is only a few steps from D concourse. We saw the bus stop sign in the median, and sat down inside the airport to wait for the 12:26 p.m. bus. The bus stop was easy visible from our seats inside the terminal. Click on the photos to enlarge them and see the labels I added.

Since I knew that our ride was going to be over 30 minutes, I had planned to use the restroom a few minutes before 12:26; however, at 12:18 p.m., we saw the E-2 bus stop in the median. The route number on the side of the bus was easily visible from our seats inside the airport. One passenger boarded as we walked out. The bus started to pull away as we walked up, and I waved my arm to get the driver to stop. The bus stopped again, reopened the door, and we boarded. I commented that I was glad we had seen the bus because we were not expecting it until 12:26. After this, the driver stayed at the stop until 12:26 p.m., and several more passengers boarded during this time. I am not sure why the door was closed and the bus had been starting to pull away when we approached.
E-2 bus seats

Before our trip, I had read a comment from someone online, who said that the bus is for local riders, as though it is not set up to accommodate passengers to and from the airport. When we boarded, the bus was empty except for the one passenger who had gotten on before us. Since there were not many passengers, we did not have any trouble with space for us our luggage; however, one thing the bus does not have is a luggage rack or place to stow luggage.

We arrived at the Tulane and Loyola stop at 1:10 p.m. We had expected this to be a transportation terminal, since we had been told it was the end of the line and the transfer station. This stop was just a basic bus stop on the street. I assume that one could stay on the bus to go the next few blocks by paying another fare, although I did not ask. 

We had an easy 5 block walk to the Astor Crowne Plaza hotel. The sidewalks were wide and the walk was flat. There were crosswalks and stoplights at all of the corners. The bus worked out well for us this trip, although I am not sure we would do this again. It would depend how early we are arriving.