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John F. Kennedy Senior High Archives - Edward Branley - The NOLA History Guy
Cartier Bus at Carrollton?

Cartier Bus at Carrollton?

The Cartier Bus line ran in Gentilly.

Cartier bus

Cartier Bus

Photo from Aaron Handy, III, of two streetcars and a “old looks” bus at Carrollton Station in the mid-1970s. Here’s his caption from the “Vintage New Orleans Transit” group on the Book of Face: “Charley cars 951 and 961 rest at Carrollton Station And Shops, with NOPSI GM old look bus 1930, curiously assigned to Cartier!”

NOPSI 951 and 961 were two of the thirty-five arch roof streetcars that survived the slaughter of 1964. At this time, mid-1970s, the extent of the Rail Department’s operations was the St. Charles line, from S. Claiborne terminal, looping around at Carondelet and Canal Streetsl, back to St. Charles Avenue, for the outbound run.

Buses at Carrollton Station

The bay next to the streetcars has no rails. The station housed trackless trolleys until 1964. After NOPSI converted trolley bus service back to regular buses, they housed those buses at Canal Station, Carrollton, and Arabella. Aaron is right, a bus working on the Cartier line parked Uptown is curious!

Gentilly transit service

Cartier! That line was one of my ways home from Brother Martin High School. The line primarily served as school buses. Fed FW Gregory Jr High to JFK. Here’s the route:

  • Outbound from Franklin Ave. at Mirabeau Avenue.
  • Up Mirabeau to St. Bernard
  • Stop at Mirabeau and Press along the way. This was a huge stop, since it connected F. W. Gregory Jr. High, down the street on Press.
  • Up St. Bernard to Toussaint
  • Turn left on Toussaint to cross the bayou
  • Stop at Spanish Fort
  • U-turn on Toussaint, then right on Wisner (cross the bayou)
  • Down Wisner to JFK. End of route.
  • Return: reverse the direction, back to Franklin Avenue

While Cartier wasn’t the only option to get back to Metairie, it allowed me to hang out with friends who lived in Lakeview a bit longer. We’d ride Cartier to Spanish Fort, then transfer to the Canal (Lake Vista via Canal Blvd) line, or its “Express” line, 80. The express drivers didn’t charge us the extra nickel, since they knew we exited in Lakeview. The Lake Vista bus turned at Toussaint and Canal Blvd, heading inbound. We would either ride to City Park Avenue, or exit at Toussaint. The Canal (Lakeshore via Pontchartrain Blvd) bus began its inbound run at Canal Blvd and the lake. We caught it at Toussaint, and rode up to Veterans. Then it was JeT out to Metairie.

“Old Looks”

Those GM “Old Looks” buses were long gone from most routes by the mid-1970s. NOPSI promoted/sold discontinuing streetcars on Canal by offering air-conditioned service from Lakeview, all the way into town. Since the Cartier and Lake lines were essentially school buses for JFK Senior High, the company didn’t mind retaining the old buses. At least the seats were comfortable.