New bus transfer site in Huntsville will bring larger buses, more routes
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The future of public transportation in Huntsville is looking bright, thanks to a $12.5 million Federal Transit Administration grant.
That’s allowing the city to expand its bus system, adding bigger buses, more routes and a brand new station.
The city is covering 20% of the cost, the remaining 80% comes from the grant.
2,000 people ride the 11 bus routes in the Huntsville Orbit system daily.
Public Transit Manager John Autry says the new bus transfer site will allow the city to keep up with the rising demand due to all the growth.
“We’re busting at the seams here at the existing station. It will give us the opportunity to expand from a nine-bay system up to 14 bus bays,” Autry said.
The Huntsville City Council approved a contract with an architect to build the new site, just north of its current location on Pratt Avenue and Church Street.
The new site will also have advanced safety features like a security fence and an upgraded video surveillance system.
According to Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, the city is looking to expand routes to the northern and western parts.
“There are a lot of people in our community that rely on public transit to get to their jobs, grocery shopping, the pharmacy, doctors, medical appointments, things like that,” Autry said.
Saundra Tate, a Huntsville native, is one of those people. She’s been riding five days a week for the last 10 years.
“They’re on time, they’re reliable. Just keep trying to get more transportation because everybody doesn’t have a vehicle or can afford one,” Tate said.
She says she’s thrilled the new site will bring more bus times and routes.
“I would like to see more in the medical district because that is the toughest one. Even before COVID and now since COVID. Some people have to go to the doctor or the hospital in the wee hours of the night. I’m really eager to see what the outcomes going to be,” Tate said.
The design process is expected to take about nine months, with construction being complete by 2024.
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