Biloxi casinos end shuttle service; CTA takes over

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BILOXI, Miss. -- When the president of Canada's largest vacation wholesaler flew into Biloxi with 200 clients for an exploratory weekend early in November, he complained about the lack of a shuttle service from casino to casino and to other attractions in the area.

This was the first trip to the Gulf Coast for most of them, and they landed in the middle of a shuttle shutdown. The casinos, which had been providing the service, abruptly stopped offering it on Nov. 1, turning the responsibility over to the Coast Transit Authority (CTA) with little notice, according to Jim Pitts, director of tourism marketing for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The CTA assumed responsibility for the running of shuttles from coast hotels to area casinos, shopping malls and attractions on a temporary basis. It added a bus and plans to add another to the Highway 90 Beachcomber route. However, the CTA said it needs $62,000 for three new buses, as well as $15,000 per month to operate them.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has offered to cover 60% of the cost of the buses and 50% of operating costs.

As a result of negotiations between the CTA and the Gulf Coast Hotel Motel Association of Mississippi (GCHMA), the following properties were designated as curbside stops for both pick-ups and drop-offs:

  • All Highway 90 casino resorts in Gulfport and Biloxi.
  • Biloxi Beach Resort Inn.
  • Comfort Suites/Comfort Inn, Biloxi.
  • Holiday Inn Coliseum, Biloxi.
  • All other GCHMA-member properties can receive curbside service on a demand basis by calling CTA's dispatch at (228) 896-4010.

    The shuttle service is not free. The CTA charges $1 per zone and $2 for the entire stretch of Highway 90. With a $4 day pass, hotel guests can travel from casino to casino and to malls, restaurants and attractions, Pitts said.

    Shuttle hours are 6:15 a.m. to 11:46 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and 6:15 a.m. to 2 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays.

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