Funding for Passenger Rail Stations in South Mississippi
All aboard in South Mississippi: the Southern Rail Commission announced funding for passenger rail stations. Almost two and a half million dollars are going to four Coast cities.
Total budgets for each city include Biloxi at $497,000, Pascagoula at $1.3 million, Gulfport over $370,000, and Bay St Louis at $100,000.
The commission awarded Mississippi over one million dollars but each city had to match the amount bringing the total to over two million dollars.
Coast officials credit the welcome parties each city hosted to celebrate the hopeful return of the railway and are excited for the economic and tourism possibilities the stations will bring.
Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said, “That changed a lot of minds of those that were on that train that day, about how well received and how excited people were about this service, had it not happened exactly like it did in Bay St. Louis, I’m not sure we’d be here today.”
Pascagoula Ward 2 Councilman Freddy Jackson said, “We see as travelers are coming through some might choose to patronize our restaurants and hopefully they’ll be some investors that’s also interested in building some new venues around the station.”
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “We’re going to see expanded opportunities at our airport, more people coming in our area. You just heard about New Orleans expanding their offerings as well, so this interconnection is something that’s been missing and I think the time is perfect.”
The money will go toward construction on platforms, sidewalk improvements, and track side development.