Tuscaloosa’s own Scuttle Shuttle, which offered van service from the Druid City to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, is ending service after a series of challenges and losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Scuttle Shuttle, which launched in 2016, suspended service in June 2020 as the coronavirus spread through the area, state and nation, and have never gotten back into full swing.
In a Sunday evening post to Facebook, management of the travel service said they do not plan to resume operations and are working to identify someone interested in taking over and reviving the shuttle sometime down the road.
“We know so many have been anxious to hear from us about our plans going forward,” they wrote on social media.” As you all know, 2020 & 2021 brought about deep loss for so many. The Scuttle Shuttle team, including our Founder/Owner, has experienced the loss of a beloved member of our SS crew in addition to the staggering loss of close friends and family.”
As air travel picks back up, many in the community were curious if the Scuttle Shuttle would pick up where they left off and begin offering affordable trips to the Birmingham airport and back.
Unfortunately, the company said, they have no plans to do so.
“While we have loved serving the Tuscaloosa and UA community, priorities have been realigned and in that process a difficult decision was made,” they wrote. “Our current ownership will not resume operations and hopes to identify an individual or company with interest in carrying the torch she lovingly forged forward. She hopes that Scuttle Shuttle left a positive impact on the patrons we have served and those who served on the Scuttle Scuttle crew. It was an honor building our brand and offering our unmatched level of service alongside the absolutely best employees ever.”
City leaders broke ground on improvements to the runway at Tuscaloosa National Airport in April and held a ribbon-cutting for the finished project in August. That resurfacing and other work “set the stage for future phases of airport improvements, with the ultimate goal of reinstating commercial passenger air service in Tuscaloosa,” according to Mayor Walt Maddox’s Elevate Tuscaloosa Tax plan, but the realization of that dream is still optimistically years away.
Until that day comes or a spiritual successor to the Scuttle Shuttle begins operations, air travelers leaving Tuscaloosa are back to finding their own way to airports in Birmingham, Atlanta or Mississippi.