CTA to christen new buses; parade photos; other news and notes

Coast Transit Authority will christen nine new demand-response buses Friday at 10 a.m. during a ceremony at the downtown Biloxi Transit Center.

Mayor A.J. Holloway will join CTA leaders and other elected officials to help christen the buses in the ceremony, which is open to the public. The Biloxi Transit Center is on Reynoir Street, just north of the Saenger Theater.

The nine new buses, which are being paid for with a recovery grant from the Federal Transit Authority, are part of CTA’s goal of replacing its entire fleet, which was seriously damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Three more federally-funded demand-response buses, which also will be assigned to fixed routes in Biloxi and Gulfport, are expected to arrive in weeks, and new trolleys and 30-foot, low-floor fixed-route buses are scheduled to be in service by the end of this year.

Coast Transit, which was able to make makeshift repairs to part of its fleet and resume service within hours after the storm, has been using repaired buses and donated vehicles from Detroit and the state since the storm.

“I especially want to thank Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, Congressman Gene Taylor and former Sen. Trent Lott for helping get us the federal assistance that has been so critical to us being able to provide uninterrupted service to our citizens,” said CTA Executive Director Kevin Coggin. “We have had tremendous assistance from the Federal Transit Authority with considerable encouragement from our legislative delegation. It’s been a great team.”

The demand-response buses will provide transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities in Harrison and Hancock counties.

Those persons who will need transportation in the event of a mandatory evacuation should register with Coast Transit Authority by calling 896-8080. Spanish speaking operators are available.

News and notes

Parade photos: Nearly 200 photos from Tuesday’s Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade are now on the city web site. To see the images, click here.

State of the City: The Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce announced this morning all seats have been sold for the State of the City address on Monday at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. A total of 700 seats were sold. Biloxi residents, however, will be able to view a cablecast of the entire speech on Tuesday, thanks to Cable One. A postcard with details about the cablecast will be mailed citywide this week. To see it now, click here.

Planning meeting: The Planning Commission meets Thursday at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Community Development Department on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Biloxi. To see the agenda for the meeting, click here.