SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport celebrated the grand opening of the SporTran Intermodal Terminal and Southwest Transit Hub on Wednesday.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor Ollie Tyler cut the ribbon on the terminal as they unveiled all the changes coming to public transportation in the city.
The terminal has amenities such as an enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, a customer information center, a sales kiosk, a bicycle repair station, a C-Store, a food truck court, public Wi-Fi and real-time passenger information screens.
The city's new electric buses also were on display Wednesday.
These are the first electric buses operating in Louisiana.
And Edwards said Shreveport is the second mass transit system in the world to use such buses.
Shreveport also will use buses fueled by compressed natural gas.
"We are very excited to be the first in the state to have electric buses and to provide these wonderful transportation upgrades," Tyler said.
"These are really advancements that we need to take advantage of in Louisiana because we breathe the air, too," Edwards said.
Riders said the ride was smooth and comfortable on the electric buses.
Operations at the terminal and hub are set to begin Sunday
"We are glad to offer our passengers a new experience with our top-notch facilities, electric buses and routes with improved arrival times that get passengers to their destinations faster," said Dinero Washington, SporTran's CEO.
New buses and new facilities also mean new routes.
The service's bus stops now are spaced one every three blocks.
There also is a new downtown route designated by orange signs.
SporTran plans to re-evaluate its routes in early 2018.
"This new facility as well as our Southwest facility will help connectivity and improve out east-west connection," Washington said.
"We'll have our challenges, but we are gonna work through those challenges. We'll fix whatever we have to fix to make sure that SporTran goes forward as we proceed with out new routing system."
The plan is for Greyhound and Amtrak to begin operating out of the new terminal starting in January.
If you still need information about your route, you should visit SporTran's downtown terminal to get information before the change Sunday.
Or view it below.
And as far as that old terminal downtown goes, Tyler said the city has a bidder and is working to finalize a deal.