New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, July 15, 2024
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1832 The Pontchartrain Railroad

Because of the large influx of nonresidents in the French Quarter, New Orleans’ first transportation system was started.

The fare in 1832 was 12 1/2 cents. The service began with two small, horse-drawn vehicles. The line ran from Canal to Chartres, down Chartres to Jackson Square, then to the cotton presses on Levee Street.

From there it went to the Pontchartrain Railroad depot, located near the river on Elysian Fields Avenue. In a very short time, the service was overloaded, due to the vehicles’ limited carrying capacity.

The owners of the line resolved the problem almost immediately. The Louisiana Advertiser newspaper ran an article stating that the two small omnibuses were to be replaced. The new vehicles, built by Messrs. Carter of New York, arrived in New Orleans and were hastily put into service on Dec. 19, 1832.

The name given the two were “Cotton Plant” and “Tobacco Plant.” Each carried 14 passengers, comfortably seated, and they were each pulled by four horses. Service began at 7 a.m. and stopped at 7:30 p.m. As an additional service to their customers, the omnibuses also carried letter boxes. For the comfort of its female passengers, a sign in each carriage requested that gentlemen not smoke.

Source: Buddy Stall at