Founded in 1718, the French Quarter or Vieux Carre is the epicenter and oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. The French Quarter is home to historic landmarks, so some restrictions apply when traveling by motorcoach:
The French Quarter/Vieux Carre District is bounded by Esplanade Avenue, North Rampart Street, Canal Street, and Decatur Street.
Rules and Regulations
For buses under 31 feet: These buses are required to use authorized routes in the French Quarter as indicated on the map below. Buses are only permitted on routes designated “Bus Route.” Buses can only make turns at intersections within the French Quarter as noted on the map. Buses must load or unload passengers in loading zones or passenger zones. They may also use freight zones if no other vehicle is waiting to enter. Loading and unloading are limited to fifteen minutes. Buses shall not idle for longer than ten minutes while stopped or parked.
For buses 31 feet or longer: These motorcoaches traveling in the French Quarter are required to apply for an “Oversize Load” permit through The City of New Orleans’ Department of Public Works department online HERE. One can also apply in person at City Hall. The permit costs $40 for application fee and $10 for each singular trip. Approved routes will be designated and approved by the Department of Public Works during the application process. Permitted buses ability to drop off/pick up passengers directly in front of French Quarter hotels will be dependent on street closures and construction.
Permits and Maps
For buses 31 feet or longer, permits must be obtained in advance through The City of New Orleans’ Department of Public Works department. Find more information in the Rules & Regulations section above. The permit must be displayed in the top right-hand side of the motorcoach’s front windshield.
Penalties for violation of the French Quarter/Vieux Carre bus restrictions may be imposed and can include fines.
The Garden District was originally laid out in 1832 and is a beautiful residential area, home to a collection of antebellum mansions many with magnificent gardens. Please refer to the information and map for motor coach restrictions:
General Information – The Garden District is bounded by St. Charles Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, and Magazine Street.
Rules and Regulations – No buses with a seating capacity of more than 20 passengers may travel in the Garden District (see exception below).
The Department of Safety & Permits Ground Transportation Bureau may authorize up to 22 buses per month having a capacity of more than 20 passengers to travel on Prytania Street and Washington Avenue within the Garden District for the sole purpose of receiving and discharging passengers from commercial establishments.
Buses must have a permit and a copy of the bus route on board. Loading and unloading is authorized only in zones that are marked and bear signs.
Tour buses may be parked while pedestrian Garden District tours are in progress at authorized zones in nonresidential areas. Buses shall not idle for longer than ten minutes while stopped or parked.
Permits and Maps – To obtain a Garden District permit, contact the Department of Safety & Permits Ground Transportation Bureau at 504-658-7170.
Penalties – Penalties for violation of the Garden District bus restrictions may be imposed and/or may result in suspension of future permits.