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.