Nelson/Nygaard Associates, a transit consulting firm that has worked extensively in transit-friendly West Coast cities like Seattle and San Francisco, for a "Comprehensive Operational Analysis" (COA) of the Huntsville Shuttle. The federal government recommends a COA every ten years; however, this will be Huntsville's first since the introduction of the Shuttle in 1990. In layman's terms, a COA looks at an existing transit system and sees where it can run more efficiently and increase ridership by cutting/changing routes, decreasing time between buses, enhanced service during peak hours, etc. What the COA would do is lay the foundation for a longer-term transit plan for the city. There is a desire among city officials for a long-term transit vision, and Mayor Battle has on numerous occasions expressed the need for regional cooperation on transit.
The transit plan comes at a time of change for public transportation in Huntsville. Google Transit is expected to be available for Huntsville very soon, along with other web and mobile services, and a useful downtown circulator is in the works.