CTA considers changes to public transportation

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Coast Transit Authority must decide how it will handle a budget shortfall for its fixed route systems in Biloxi, Gulfport, D'Iberville and Ocean Springs.

CTA Director Kevin Coggin said the federal government provides dollar for dollar matching funds for local government contributions. CTA received $191,840 less than requested from Biloxi, $72,980 less than requested from Gulfport, and $6,120 less than requested from Ocean Springs. D'Iberville budgeted the full requested amount.

Coggin said the $270,940 that cities were not able to pitch in, and the subsequent loss of federal match means CTA will go without more than half a million dollars. He said for the last five years CTA has been able to make do with emergency federal transit funds but that money has run out.

Next week, management will make a presentation to the CTA board as to what adjustments will be made to deal with the deficit. Coggin said there is no more internal belt tightening that can be done with operating expenses, and customers already pay some of the highest fares in the southeast.

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