Coast Transit Authority to get first electric bus

Coast Transit Authority to get first electric bus
Riders board one of Coast Transit Authority's electric-diesel hybrid buses at the Gulfport Transit Center. (Photo source: WLOX) (Source: John Fitzhugh)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Coast Transit Authority (CTA) will soon add their first all-electric bus to their fleet.

That bus will be paid for with a $744,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, along with an additional $100,000 from Mississippi Power. CTA will provide an additional $86,000.

CTA director Kevin Coggin said they have been waiting for the battery technology to evolve to the point where they could run an electric bus all day without recharging.

Coast Transit has been using alternative energy buses since 2003.

“We have extensive background with alternative fuels,” Coggin said. “We run our smaller buses off of propane now. So, we’re running some gasoline buses, some diesel, some propane buses, and they’re actually duel-fuel, gas and propane. Then we have the hybrids, and now, we’re going into the next step into the pure electrics.”

A new route will be created for the electric bus that runs exclusively in downtown Gulfport. Coggin said they are exploring adding Centennial Plaza to that route. Centennial Plaza will also become part of the Beachcomber route.

Once the Mississippi Aquarium opens, Coggin said their Sunshine Express bus will run from the Biloxi Transit Center to the Gulfport Transit Center, next door to the aquarium.

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