The Train Cowgirl (who is absurdly hot) and I visited New Orleans last weekend. We had a wonderful time in The Big Easy. I was most impressed by the people we met, but the feel of the city, and the food were both wonderful!
N.O. presents some very interesting mass transit challenges and solutions. Because the city is kind of a swamp, they cannot dig subway tunnels. (In truth it is probably very good that there were not subways when Katrina happened.)
As a result, N.O. has developed a streetcar system. What is really cool is that these are not the tourist trap streetcars of San Francisco, they are certainly used by everyone, including tourists.
We rode the streetcar out to a Christmas Lights Event at City Park. Our car was a wonderfully jolly bunch, singing carols and old tv show tunes (think Flintstones).
At another point, we rode a streetcar late at light and sat with a group of waiters, just off their shift, and a group of sisters and sister in-laws, who had been partying hard.
As a city, I give New Orleans a 10 out of 10. Great people, great food, great architecture.
Trains/Streetcars: 7 out of 10 (gained a point for cool factor, but lost points for coverage.)
Buses: 8 out of ten
Cleanliness/Art: 9 out of 10 Clean enough, wood interiors in remarkably good shape.
Usage: 7 out of 10
Timeliness: 7 out of 10
Crown Jewel: Riding with happy, drunk party people mixed with waiters and musicians just off work. +5
Total: 93% A-