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All aboard the Orion Express! Huntsville Transit introduces service to upcoming concerts

HUNTSVILLE – The journey to the Orion Amphitheater in MidCity for two concerts this month just got easier and, presumably, safer with shuttle service through Huntsville Transit.

The city’s Orion Express will transport concert goers to and from the venue from five downtown locations for the Outlaw Music Festival on Wednesday and again Oct. 27 for Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit.

Quisha Bryant, director of Huntsville’s Department of Parking and Public Transportation, said the Orion Express is a collaborative effort with the city, Downtown Huntsville Inc., and the Orion Amphitheater.

“We want everyone who plans to attend these shows to get there and back safely, and the
Orion Express is a convenient way to travel, especially if you’re already staying downtown,” Bryant said. “This is the first time we’ve offered this, so if it’s a success, we’ll consider bringing it back next year.

“We thank our partners at DHI and the Orion for helping get the word out.”

The Orion Express will run every 15 minutes starting at 4 p.m. and will return riders to their destination until one hour after the event ends.

Riders can leave and return at the following locations with round-trip tickets costing $10.

  • 106 Jefferson
  • Hampton Inn
  • AC Hotel
  • Embassy Suites
  • Springhill Suites.

Tickets can be purchased through the Token Transit app available for iOS and Android users. New users will need to create an account and then verify their information. The user then should click “Buy Passes” and select “Adult” under the “Rider” section. Users should then click the “Outlaw Music Shuttle” option to purchase the fare.

In July, the Huntsville City Council approved a land swap and funds to build a parking garage near the amphitheater with the aid of the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG). The agency agreed to vacate its 3.6-acre property next to the Orion in exchange for a one-acre site at the southeast corner of MidCity. TARCOG plans to build a facility on the property to continue serving its five-county region of Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Jackson and Dekalb counties.

The City Council also approved an agreement to help cover some of TARCOG’s replacement costs and donate the land for a new facility. While the one-acre land swap comes at no cost, the city will provide TARCOG $8 million in assistance to help with the new TARCOG center. The move allows the city to complete its master plan to build a parking deck for Orion Amphitheater operations.

“Having adjacent parking will help public safety, traffic circulation and minimize pedestrian
interaction with vehicles,” Shane Davis, the city’s director of Urban and Economic Development, said during a July presentation to the City Council. “Since we don’t need the entire site for parking, we can develop the remaining parcel with retail, food and beverage to create a revenue stream for the city’s tax base.”

Construction for the garage was expected to take 14 months once the design was finalized.

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