HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Huntsville Shuttle and HandiRide services have a new look and new names.
The Huntsville Shuttle is now “Orbit” while HandiRide’s moniker has changed to “Access.”
This is part of the city’s five-phase Transit Improvement Plan that includes expanded fixed route and paratransit service, a new mobile app, additional transit hubs and the elimination of underutilized routes.
City officials say additional improvements to Huntsville’s public transportation offerings include the addition of 30-minute service routes, reduced costs of monthly ridership passes, upgraded bus stop signs, new shelter maps, rider’s guides and more customer-friendly website content.
“Quality public transportation is the cornerstone of a healthy and prospering community,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “This rebranding is part of a larger, strategic implementation of the Nelson Nygaard Transit Study, and it represents much more than new colors and logos. It’s better signage, easier to understand customer information, safer and more welcoming bus stops, and more user-friendly website content. This is about enhancing our service to Huntsville citizens.”
According to the city, the goal of the new brands is to “accurately and easily reflect transportation offerings while invoking a feeling of movement and momentum.”
“It was time for a new look to match Huntsville’s forward thinking and modern trajectory,” said parking and public transportation director Tommy Brown. “The ‘Shuttle’ – a reference to the now-retired Space Shuttle and a nod to Huntsville’s role in space exploration – served us well for many years. We’re excited to launch these new brands, and we’re hopeful they will help put public transportation on the radar for new audiences.”
Brown said the “HandiRide” name brought to mind the outdated term “Handicap” in reference to individuals with differing abilities. Brown said “Access” reinforces Huntsville Transit’s goal of helping all citizens, regardless of ability, access as much of the city as possible.
Huntsville Transit officials expect all 19 Orbit buses and 25 Access vehicles to be rewrapped by mid-August. In the meantime, citizens can expect to see a mixture of the old and new brands on Huntsville roadways.