Changes are in route for Huntsville bus system

Changes are in route for the Huntsville Public Transit system and could be here as early as next year, but first the city is asking for your imput on what those changes should be.

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 4:07 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 7:11 PM

The possible transit changes are all thanks to a 90,000 dollar, 9-month study run by a consulting firm hired by the city of Huntsville. Tuesday the city held an open forum where people were asked to vote on what the city's next step should be.

"We want them to improve the service," Leonard Graham.

"I think of Charlie, the Starkissed tuna, we're like driving in tuna cans," Bonnie McDowell.

Leonard Graham and Bonnie McDowell came to the city's forum on Tuesday to have their voices heard on how to improve the buses they ride everyday. Graham was focused on extending service times, but McDowell was worried about safety.

"The bus drivers have a very dangerous job," McDowell told us. She says the changes proposed are not enough.

"It's going to be a while before things improve; right now they're doing their best," McDowell.

People who came out today were given "bus bucks" to vote on how they think the money should be prioritized.

"We were so excited when the city started listening to the community around the key issue of transportation," Cathy Miller, United Way.

Cathy Miller told me a United Way study from 2014 was part of what got the ball rolling on what she says is much needed change.

"Both as a health issue. They couldn't get to doctors appointments, they couldn't get to get their medication, couldn't get to healthy food, and also as an employment issue," Miller.

Miller said this forum is a step in the right direction, but McDowell is skeptical anything will happen.

"Until I see changes then I know they're improving things," McDowell.

80 percent of the study's $90,000 cost is federally funded while the other 20 percent is from the cities general budget. The consulting firm told WAAY after the study is done the city will make a 5 year plan to implement changes

If you missed the meetings Tuesday and didn't get a chance to vote in person, you can vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HuntsvilleTransitStudySurvey 

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