Huntsville Transit providing free rides to college students + staff

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College students and staff members get a free ride next week from Huntsville Transit. (City of Huntsville)

As a celebration of Earth Week, college students and staff get to ride Huntsville Transit for free from April 17-22! The offer applies to students, staff and faculty at all Huntsville-area colleges and universities.

Here’s how the program works:

Give the planet a lift

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The promotion is Huntsville Transit’s way of celebrating Earth Day. (City of Huntsville)

This year’s free ride promotion aligns with the City’s efforts to not only promote sustainability initiatives, but also multimodal transportation access. According to a 2021 sustainability study published by UCLA, taking public transportation reduces CO2 emissions by 45%.

Other benefits outlined in the study include a reduction in harmful chemicals related to antifreeze and other automotive fluids, reduced ground and water pollution related to road construction, and reduced noise pollution from busy roads.

Dennis Madsen, the City’s Manager of Urban and Long-Range Planning, said smart, sustainable growth hinges on ensuring multimodal access for everyone, whether you drive, bike, walk or ride a bus. The City has increased its focus on public transportation in recent years as evidenced by the construction of a new transfer station on Pratt Avenue.

“As our City grows, the need for safe and reliable public transportation will grow. To advance our public transportation offerings in the future, the citizens will need to support it. This promotion is a great way to get people in the 18-22 age group interested in the benefits of public transportation.”

Dennis Madsen, Manager of Urban and Long-Range Planning

How the program started

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Huntsville Transit’s free ride program for college students was started by a Huntsville Transit employee who is a college student. (City of Huntsville)

From April 17-22, anyone presenting a valid college ID can board a Huntsville Orbit bus for free. The offer applies to students, staff and faculty at all Huntsville-area colleges and universities.

The promotion is Huntsville Transit’s way of celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Huntsville’s Green Team will celebrate the observance locally at Hays Nature Preserve.

The effort was led by Xantheia Watkins, a former Huntsville Transit employee and current graduate student at Alabama A&M University. She also organized a bus shelter decorating contest for college students, the winner of which will be announced at the Earth Day celebration.

“We’re thrilled to again offer this week-long promotion to our local college communities. Public transportation is especially great for college students because it’s inexpensive and Huntsville Transit offers convenient service to our colleges and universities. We hope people will get on the bus and see what we’re all about it.”

Quisha Bryant, Huntsville director of Parking & Transit

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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