LED headlights for New Orleans streetcars.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority has replaced old streetcar bulbs with new LED lights to avoid accidents. Here, the new headlights -- along with new strobe lights installed under the cars -- can be seen on classic St. Charles car 940. Photo by Flickr user darkfoxprime (Johnson Earls) via Creative Commons license. Click for his photostream.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority has replaced old streetcar bulbs with new LED lights to avoid accidents, according to a report by WDSU New Orleans.

In addition to the LED headlights — said to be five times greater than the old bulbs — RTA has installed strobe lights below the cars’ anti-climbers. According to WDSU, It cost $25,000 to change all the headlights on 66 streetcars, a project mostly funded with federal dollars.

RTA spokesman Derrick Breun acknowledged that the move has been criticized by some purists.

“Even though some folks may have an issue from a historical standpoint, we really pushed positively to make sure there was good communication,” Mr. Breun told the TV station.

I’m a purist myself, but this change doesn’t bother me. These are working transit vehicles in an urban setting. Safe operation will help ensure their viability for years to come. Moreover, while these headlights have a purpose, I also don’t think they’re any more hideous than the rounded window treatments which disfigured the St. Charles cars for so many years.

Shine on, Nola.

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This entry was posted in USA: Heritage, USA: LRT/Streetcars. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to LED headlights for New Orleans streetcars.

  1. Christine says:

    I’m sort of a purist too, but lights are important-and it doesn’t seem to affect the aesthetics much.

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