BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Business at the Coast Transit Authority is booming these days. In the past year, almost 900,000 people have hopped aboard the various shuttle services by CTA. So why are people waiting on the benches, climbing aboard the buses, and taking off down the road.
Kevin Coggin is the Executive Director of CTA. He said the answer should come as no surprise.
"People are financially struggling," Coggin said. "Our ridership spiked with the increase in gasoline. But when gas went back down, fortunately, we were able to keep them because of the quality of the service. And then we're in this deep recession, so certainly people are looking to us to help save them money in their personal budgets.
Some riders said they catch a ride on the shuttle services simply because they have no other way to get around town. Margaret Lynch is one of those people.
"I ride the transit to get to work. I ride sometimes to go to the store," Lynch said. "I don't have transportation, so that's the reason I ride it."
Elderly patrons have different reasons for getting on and off the shuttle. It's convenient and fast, according to Marion Lloyd.
"I ride it back and forth to the bus station or up to the hospital and around a few places, you know, to see the doctors," Lloyd said.
The secret to continued success for CTA lies not only on a tough economy, Coggin said, but on a time tested, old fashioned business model.
"The quality of the service, the number of services, the variety of services we have out there, we are a public service and we really strive for good customer service."