CTA offers free rides

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Who says there are no free rides? As part of "Dump The Pump Day," Coast Transit Authority offered free rides on buses and trolleys Thursday to show people what public transportation has to offer.

Wilda Switzer said "Dump the Pump Day" inspired her to take her grandson Andrew to catch their first public bus ride in years. She said it was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the view.

"I always have to drive everywhere I go, but on here you just realize, you don't worry about it," sad Switzer

People boarding CTA buses on Thursday didn't have to worry about paying the fare. CTA officials said "Dump The Pump Day" is all about encouraging people to explore the benefits of public transportation.

CTA Director Kevin Coggin said, "I don't think they realize how convenient the bus service is and how much service we actually offer. The large geographic area that we actually cover. And that they can meet a lot of their daily needs on public transportation,"

CTA also conducted surveys to see how it can improve service for existing customers.

"Gas prices aren't as high, but the economy is a lot worse," said Coggin. "People's personal financial positions are not as good. Our ridership is doing really well, so we've maintained our ridership even when gas prices went down."

Jean Kendall said after she lost part of her leg, she worried she'd lose her ability to be independent.

"I couldn't get around," said Kendall. "I used to walk all the time, walking for years. When this happened to me in July, I said 'Oh, Lord.' But then I found out I could ride the bus so it's convenient."

CTA officials said the Beachcomber trolley route along Highway 90 is the most popular.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.