CTA to hear public comments about proposed changes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

CTA to hear public comments about proposed changes

The CTA Office in Biloxi. The Casino Hopper service that has been running seven days a week would be reduced, according to the proposal. (Photo source: WLOX News) The CTA Office in Biloxi. The Casino Hopper service that has been running seven days a week would be reduced, according to the proposal. (Photo source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Several changes could be coming to the Coast Transit Authority soon. But first, the public has a chance to give its opinion on the possibilities. The CTA just released proposed alterations to its routes. Some of these include cuts that might affect your weekly travel plans around the coast.

Just inside the lobby of Biloxi's CTA station sits a white table. On that table is a container silently calling for comments.

"There's a lot of other systems that don't do that. This one does," said CTA frequenter Carl Davis.

Davis said the CTA has earned his respect by caring about what he and other riders think about the possible upcoming changes. These changes include eliminating a route, cutting buses and reducing certain services. 

Before these changes go into effect, federal regulations require that the CTA get the public's input. But, Davis still sees it as the company connecting with its customers.

"They're looking at our opinions. They're looking at our needs. I appreciate that," said Davis.

But, not everyone agrees.

"They don't listen to the people that are riding the bus," said one rider. "Why do they want to stop the Casino Hopper?" said Deanna Dubuisson.

The Casino Hopper service that has been running seven days a week would be reduced, according to the proposal. Late night service on Fridays and Saturdays would be cut, and Sundays would be eliminated altogether.

Deanna Dubuisson said that reduction would also reduce the number of tourists in the area.

"If they can't get around, they ain't going to come back," said Dubuisson. 

Many of the riders said the Hopper service reduction could be due a drop in customers. But, Johnny Hayes thinks something could be done to keep the service going. And, he says it's not necessarily the CTA's responsibility.

"I mean, it looks like the casinos would be trying to help out," said Hayes.

He thinks that if the casinos wanted patrons to continue frequenting their floors, they should help the bus service that gets them there.

"It's all about money in this world today. It's just all about money," said Hayes.

The CTA will hold two public meetings to discuss the proposed changes. The first will be November 17 from 1 to 3 p.m., the second will be November 24 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Both of these meetings will be at the Biloxi Transit Center.

The proposed changes for Biloxi Routes include the following: Elimination of RT31, reduction of Casino hopper route from three to two buses, elimination of Casino Hopper Sunday service, elimination of late night Casino Hopper service on Friday and Saturday nights, eliminate one bus RT34 on Sunday.

The proposed changes for Gulfport Routes include the following: Eliminate BeachComber service on Sunday, start new RT37 service on Sunday.

We've reached out to the CTA to find out why the changes are being made, but have not yet received an answer at the time this article was written.

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