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A look inside SporTran's new facility, buses

ribbon(Shreveport, La.) -- The construction across from the Shreveport Police Department is over.

A key transportation center is finished.

Today, the grand opening of SporTran’s new Intermodal bus facility.

It has been a long time coming, the project started in 2015.

 

The setback was mainly due to the flooding in the past two years.

SporTran’s CEO, Dinero Washington, says the major differences between the new terminal and the old downtown one are the buses.

Five of them are electric; they run on re-chargeable batteries that give them a day's worth of power.

Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, alongside Shreveport Mayor, Ollie Tyler, cut the ribbon marking the official grand opening.

He is proud of the green footprint the buses will leave behind, "To be able to move people in a way that's better for the environment, with zero emissions out of these electric vehicles, using compressed natural gas with the other buses - these are advancements that we need to take advantage of in the state of Louisiana because we all want cleaner air."

The terminal includes amenities such as an enclosed waiting area, restrooms, a bicycle repair station, Wi-Fi, and food for purchase.

A lot of the upgrades come as a pleasant surprise to the passengers and drivers.

SporTran driver, Welton Garner, tells KTBS-3 News, "Change is a good thing; it had to happen sooner or later. I like the new buses and the new facilities, also."

Mary Childers, Shreveport resident, adds, "It's going to be interesting, but it is a little confusing for me right now. So, it is going to take a while to get it down pat."

To celebrate, and allow riders to get used to the changes, SporTran is offering free rides when services officially start on the 12th, then on through the 18th.

There is also a new fare collection system called touch pass - that allows passengers to use smart-cards or a mobile app to pay the fare.

New Routes Schedule Listing Effective November 12, 2017