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Jefferson Transit: Our History
Organized passenger transportation service in Jefferson Parish commenced in the 1930s and was privately owned and operated. Fifty years later, Jefferson Parish Government assumed ownership and established the government owned and operated transit function. In 1989, Jefferson Parish voters approved for ten years an annual 2-mil property tax to support fixed-route transit services and 1-mil property tax to support paratransit services for elderly and disabled citizens. These 10-year millage assessments were renewed at the same rate in 1999 and again in 2009.
In 1990, the Jefferson Parish Department of Transit Administration was created and took responsibility for overseeing the private management companies contracted to operate the Jefferson Transit system. Until 2006, Jefferson Parish contracted fixed-route operations of Eastbank public transit and Westbank public transit under two separate management companies, with a third company managing the parishwide paratransit system. As the cost to operate the transit system rose significantly following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jefferson Parish sought to better control costs by consolidating all transit operations under a single contract. Starting in 2006, all fixed-route operations were solely managed by Veolia Transportation, Inc., and in 2008, Veolia took on the paratransit operations as well.
Throughout the 1990s and until 2005 when Hurricane Katrina disrupted public transit service throughout the region, Jefferson Transit transported an average of 4 million riders annually. Following Hurricane Katrina, transit operations were scaled back to meet budgetary constraints and a reduced demand for service. Since ridership in Jefferson Parish is tied significantly to the ridership experienced by the New Orleans transit system, Jefferson’s rebound to its pre-Katrina level remains in process.
Transit Industry Recognition
In the May/June 2007 issue of Busline Magazine, Jefferson Transit was recognized for its actions before Hurricane Katrina struck in helping to ferry people out of harm’s way, and for revitalizing the public transit system in the hurricane’s aftermath. In 2010, Jefferson Transit received recognition from the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership for being a “clean fleet leader that has taken strides to reduce regional dependence on foreign oil by replacing the equivalent of 11,520 gallons of gas with a cleaner fuel to power their transportation fleet.” The Partnership also distinguishes Jefferson Transit for being the first mass transit fleet in the region to use biodiesel, which fuels the entire fixed-route bus fleet. Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural oils (like soybean oil) which can be an added to or entirely replace conventional petroleum diesel fuel.
Jefferson Parish Transit does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age. To request additional information on JeT’s nondiscrimination policies or to file a complaint, contact the General Manager of Jefferson Parish Transit (504) 818-1077.
Bus stops are located approximately every 2 blocks.
Holiday schedule is operated on the following days: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Good Friday, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.