More South Mississippians are choosing to dump the pump - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

More South Mississippians are choosing to dump the pump

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

It is not uncommon to see people lined up outside the Biloxi Transit Center to hop on a bus or trolley. But Thursday, it was busier than usual because rides were free in honor of national Dump the Pump Day.

"It's a day to encourage them to ride, not their car, but the bus," Coast Transit Authority Executive Director Kevin Coggin said. "The average household can eliminate $9,800 a year by eliminating one car from their household. That's a significant amount."

By the end of the day, Coggin estimated there were about 6,000 riders, many of them first timers. Sarah Hoyt took her young boys.

"Just something to do, kind of getting to know the cities," Hoyt said. "We are relatively new to the area, so it was neat to be able to go and see everything on the areas around."

Nine-year-old Michaela Butchee was excited for her ride.

"I'm riding with my godmother, and we are riding because it's free and we are going to Ocean Springs," Butchee said.

Others use the service every day.

"It's convenient for them. It's cheaper," Regina Rodney said. "You don't have to pay all the money to put in the gas tank; $1.25 gets you where you need to go."

Every year since 2006, more South Mississippians are choosing to dump the pump. The past two years, more than a million people ditched their car keys and rode with CTA. And the executive director said they are on track to hit that mark again this year.

"We look at our ridership to continue to grow at the current service level and we are looking to expand further into our community we are not serving right now. Specifically, we would like to expand into the Popp's Ferry Road area in Biloxi and the Dedeaux Road area in Gulfport," Coggin said.

For a list of CTA routes, check out the CTA website: http://coasttransit.com/route-schedules/ . And if you do have to drive, at least make sure you're getting the best deal on gas. You can always find a list of the lowest gas prices in South Mississippi on our WLOX News app for your smart phone or iPad.

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