On April 13, the Chapel Hill Town Council met virtually to discuss the Chapel Hill Transit budget for the upcoming 2022-23 fiscal year.
Chapel Hill Transit is the second-largest transit system in North Carolina, with 205 employees and 113 vehicles. Last fiscal year, the adopted budget for Chapel Hill Transit was $26.3 million.
The total budget for Chapel Hill Transit comes from several sources, including the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro, UNC as well as federal and state allocated funds. Last year, the Town of Chapel Hill contributed $5.5 million, the Town of Carrboro contributed $1.9 million and UNC contributed $8.5 million.
During the upcoming fiscal year, Chapel Hill Transit is likely to see an increase in federal funding for the first time in almost twenty years.
"What means for us is likely a 20 to 30 percent increase in our federal funding," he said.
One financial challenge the transit system will likely face this year in comparison to previous years is rising gas prices, according to Chapel Hill Transit Director Brian Litchfield.
An additional expense Chapel Hill Transit will face is salary adjustments, Litchfield said.
Litchfield said that the biggest impact transit will possibly have is to continue to improve wages for frontline team members.
Currently, he said Chapel Hill Transit pays $18.68 per hour for frontline workers — an improvement from previous years. However, this salary makes it difficult for individuals who work in Chapel Hill to also live there.