Huntsville to study its transit network

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville will soon undergo a Transit Study. Thursday, the Huntsville City Council approved a resolution for the Mayor to enter into an agreement with a consultant to do the study.

Tommy Brown, Parking and Public Transit Director, said the purpose is to improve the service Huntsville offers.

"One of the primary things we want to do is we want to study what Saturday service in Huntsville would look like, with an eye toward implementing Saturday service in Huntsville when we have the funding to do it," he said.

Brown explained that Saturday service was one of the most requested services from riders. But he explained that the city needs to know more about how the routes would need to be structured, from times to stops. Saturday service would be different than during the week, he said, because people are focused more on shopping or errands than they are on how to get to work.

The study will also look at current routes and operations to make sure they are as efficient as they can be, and explore lower-cost transportation.

"People want to be independent as they age. They want to age in place. So what we are looking at is low-cost, or lower-cost, ways to provide transportation for those folks," he stated.

Brown explained that a big part of the study will be soliciting public input. The key is to find out what people want to see happen, and what people's needs are, to make sure the city is doing all it can to help.

"This will have a large public outreach component," Brown said of the study. "We want to reach out to the public."

Brown said all of the effort is to improve services for the people who public transportation. The study will cost $90,000, with 80% of that cost covered by federal dollars.