The price of gasoline continues to rise. In Gulfport, the price for unleaded gas has jumped from $3.25 per gallon to $3.40 per gallon. That's a 15 cent difference. Prices are really starting to take a toll on residents. Some gas stations increased their prices by 15 cents just overnight.
Thursday, News 25 went down to the Transit Center in Biloxi, where they are encouraging folks to start using public transportation. Thursday was Kinsley Moody's fifth birthday, and just how is she spending it? Kinsley says, “Riding on the trolley.” What's so special about riding the trolleys this Thursday? Peggy Penn, a C.T.A. rider, says, “Well, we come every day when y'all have the free day to get the kids acquainted on how people travel who don't have cars every day. That this is how city transit works."
The free day that Penn is referring to is the Coast Transit Authority's (C.T.A.) Dump the Pump day, one day out of year when the C.T.A. offers free rides on trolleys and bus routes throughout south Mississippi. Kevin Coggin, the Executive Director of the C.T.A., says, “It's a way for us to reward our loyal customers with a free day of service and we also attract a considerable amount of people who have never ridden before.” The C.T.A. has seen their ridership go up by 100% on Dump the Pump day and they're hoping that riders make that trend a habit.
Coggin also says, “Dump the Pump is a national effort that is organized by American Public Transit Association to create awareness about the benefits of public transportation.” C.T.A. leaders say with gas prices on the rise, now more than ever is the time for folks to use public transportation. It's a great way to save money and step out and socialize. Dorothy Bush, another C.T.A. rider, says, “It's really great. The community gets to get out and enjoy themselves and the children too, and some people don't have transportation so it's good.”
Penn closes, “It just gives people the opportunity to try it and see what the city offers every day for them in a regular way. It just helps out everybody.” For Penn and her grandchildren, it's a yearly tradition, a special day they hope to share together for years to come.
According to a recent Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two person household can save an average of more than $9,700 annually by downsizing to one car, something to consider with these gas prices on the rise.