CTA offers free hurricane evacuation service

While Cristobal has passed through our area, hurricane season has just begun.  Coast Transit Authority has already mapped out a route to safety for those with no way to evacuate during this hurricane season.

For years, Coast Transit Authority has rolled out affordable transportation in South Mississippi, but did you know the CTA also provides free transportation to residents in need of a ride if an evacuation order is issued in Harrison County during hurricane season? CTA Executive Director Kevin Coggin said, “We pick them up actually at their house, then we take them to the shelter. They can take two bags, and we’ll help them get on board and get to the shelter, and when there’s the all clear, we get them out in the public. We track who boards and who de-boards, so family members who are looking for their relatives, we can tell them who we picked up and where we brought them, especially during a bad event, people are looking for their relatives and loved ones so we track everybody.”

The Coast Transit Authority began providing this free service in 2007 after the need became apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “Katrina drove it. We really weren’t at the table during Katrina. We were kind of on the fringe, but then the lessons we all learned during Katrina, knew that bus transportation was a critical element for people, not necessarily just before the storm, but also to support the public in re-establishing after the storm. We did a lot of things.”

But to get on board with this year’s hurricane evacuation transportation program you’ll need to pre-register. You can call the CTA to sign up at 228-896-8080 or head to coasttransit.com and click on the special programs tab and scroll down to the hurricane evacuation transportation form and enter your information on the line. “You can register, and when there’s a call for an evacuation, we have an electronic all call. We’ll send out a call to you and let you know there’s been a call for an evacuation, and you need to call to make your appointment. It’s just a lot smoother for the people if they pre-register.”

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