CTA Losing More Than $1 Million In Federal Funds

The director of Coast Transit Authority says the agency will be forced to cut services if it can't find a permanent source of funding from state and local governments within the next three years.

Reid Hopper told the Harrison County Supervisors that on May 1, CTA lost more than a million dollars in federal funding because the Coast's population has grown beyond 200,000 people. Hopper says the government believes that an area with that size population should be able to support public transportation.

County supervisors are concerned about the money the county and cities are budgeting for Coast Transit. Supervisor Connie Rockco says she wonders if people who need service are getting it.

"If Harrison County funds you, and you don't go to the unincorporated areas but you won't pick up in Long Beach because Long Beach can't afford it," Rockco said. "Harrison County's picking up the tab for somebody. Maybe Long Beach and D'Iberville should get service if they need it."

Hopper said providing service to area residents is not something that's up to the CTA.

"It's going to be up to all of our political elected officials whether it be local or state to go to our state and come up with a way to save public transit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

Hopper says Mississippi is one of four states that don't fund public transit.

The supervisors say they want to discuss CTA's budget in more detail with Hopper, and a workshop is planned for June.