Underutilized transit hub could get busy once again

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Many wonder why the state of the art transit hub in the heart of D'Iberville remains underused.

This $2 million dollar Coast Transit Authority transit hub opened three years ago with much fanfare. Now, there are plans in the works that could breathe new life into this facility.

A CTA bus still runs here every 90 minutes, but today, no one got off or on. What has changed over the past several months?

Kevin Coggin the CTA executive director has an answer. "We were serving Scarlet Pearl employees and patrons and Scarlet Pearl built their parking garage now so they are no using these outer lots, so it's not as utilized as it once was, Coggin explained.

He added it was located here for one main reason. "This facility was built to support the city's French Market development, redevelopment district so it was all planned in conjunction with them to support that. And actually be the catalyst."

That French Market plan is still alive, according to D'Iberville city manager Clay Jones. "CTA has been a very good partner with us in getting a study done to start the ball rolling and make it happen. We've had meetings with developers as recently as yesterday," said Jones.

Jones feel that rolling ball is taking optimistic bounces. He said, "I think it's going to happen. We don't know how fast it will happen. It's going to take lot of partners to get it done. But I think it's definitely going to happen."

If and when the French Market becomes a reality, CTA and the transit hub are ready to take advantage, according to Coggin. "I'm assuming and hoping that the city's plans to redevelop this with the economy being on the upswing will get some investment in here and it will work like we thought it would."

And Jones is hoping it works out just as much. "We've been blessed with great retail sales, we have a great casino in the city. This will be another draw for the coast as well."

D'Iberville city officials say there are so many moving parts involved in the French market project, they say it would be premature to mention a time line as to when things might actually happen.

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