Two new 105', 150-passenger, high-speed, aluminum catamaran passenger ferries constructed for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) by Metal Shark have been completed and are ready to enter service.

The first of the two new ferries was completed earlier this year and delivered to New Orleans in July. The second vessel is 100% complete at Metal Shark’s Franklin, La., shipyard where it successfully passed Coast Guard inspections at the beginning of October and is ready for delivery to New Orleans RTA.

The new ferries, RTA 1 and RTA 2, will replace the decades-old ferries currently operated in New Orleans and will usher in new standards of comfort, safety, reliability, and efficiency.

The vessels were designed by BMT and built to meet the specific requirements of the RTA. The Subchapter T ferries are powered by twin 715-hp Caterpillar C-18 Tier 3 diesel engines and feature a proven, low wake/low wash, high efficiency hull design for reduced environmental impact.

“In the past 18 months, we have delivered over 14 150-passenger and 350-passenger ferries to New York, Washington, D.C., and now, New Orleans,” Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard said in a statement. “As a local Louisiana company, it has been an honor to build these modern, comfortable new vessels for the people of New Orleans and visitors from around the world."