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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The City of Huntsville has begun the process of upgrading its public transit system.

In early October, the city council awarded a $1M contract to Huntsville-based architecture firm Fuqua & Partners. The firm will design the blueprints for the facility.

Plans for the new station include adding more bus bays, so there is more room for buses to park. The current downtown transfer station has nine bays. The new facility will have 14. The bays themselves will also be larger, giving room for the city to purchase larger buses in the future.

Courtesy: City of Huntsville
This drawing, submitted with the City of Huntsville’s grant application to the Federal Transit Administration, shows preliminary plans for the new bus transfer station.

City of Huntsville Public Transit Manager John Autry says the new station is much needed.

“Right now we’re busting at the seams,” Autry said. “You’ll see every bus bay full of buses.”

The current station, which serves as a hub for the city’s Orbit and Access bus services, also serves as a stop for Greyhound bus services.

“We also have a contract with Greyhound, but we have to put them off to the side because we don’t have enough room,” Autry said.

The new station will be located just north of the current one. It’ll occupy the space that was once the Sherman Concrete Plant at the corner of Pratt Avenue and Church Street.

According to an estimate from Fuqua & Partners, the project is expected to cost $15.6M. The city received a $12.5M grant from the Federal Transit Administration to help pay for the facility.

Autry says once the new station is built, they’ll be able to add additional routes to serve more of Huntsville’s population.

The new facility will include upgraded amenities for passengers, including enhanced security features. There will be a perimeter security fence, as well as upgraded video surveillance and more restricted access to areas like restrooms and waiting areas.

The City of Huntsville will keep the property where the current station sits, but it will be repurposed for bus refueling, cleaning, and repair.

The new downtown transfer station is expected to open sometime in 2024.