Public comments are encouraged through January 7th. The point of contact for Coast Transit Authority is Jay Curtis. His phone number is (228) 896-8080, ext 234; email him at: jcurtis@coast transit.com. Click here for the proposed changes (improvements) in detail.
The beautiful newly constructed multi-purpose "comfort stations" were designed to accommodate all beach visitors as well as being a pick-up point for Coast Transit. Long Beach was fortunate to be a recipient of these new beach accomodations which are also handicap accessible. Funding was a joint venture between Harrison County Sand Beach and the CTA.
It is easily understood that the CTA needs more riders to break even; it is understood that some of their funding has been cut. I can't seem to get rid of the feeling that if they would give us one more year... the Long Beach stop could be profitable. Hopefully we will have recovered by the damages the oil spill contributed to tourism in 2010. We have made great strides in re-building. Four new restaurants will be opening on HWY 90 or near it--within the first 4 to 6 months of 2011.
It seems there is a tentative, alternative plan for the smaller Western towns of the MGC. The hypothetical plan will require that Long Beach and Pass Christian contribute approximately $20,000 each per year. Will they do it? The current ridership, as CTA points out--is not profitable. Why would these small towns make a subsidy of this amount--especially if the entire Gulf Coast could benefit by connecting with Bay St. Louis-Pass Christian--and Long Beach?
Will ridership improve in the coming year? We won't be able to tell if we don't have the service.