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BRITE Bus awarded $3 million in CARES Act funding

Photo courtesy BRITE Bus.

CARES Act funding awarded to BRITE Bus has allowed the transit system to maintain operations, offer fare-free trips, and purchase driver personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to ensure the safety of riders and personnel.

BRITE Bus has received $3 million under the CARES Act to offset revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. The money comes from $456 million in federal transit relief that was apportioned to the Commonwealth.

This assistance will also fully fund the transit system for fiscal year 2021, allowing BRITE Bus to operate without requiring the $450,000 in
funding usually contributed by local partners.

This will alleviate some of the financial burden on BRITE Bus funding partners: Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, Blue Ridge Community College, Augusta Health, Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center, Staunton Downtown Development Association, and Shenandoah Valley Social Services.

“During this unprecedented time of uncertainty and public health concern, it is even more imperative that Augusta Health allocate as much funding as possible to serve the needs of our community,” says Karen Clark, vice president of operations at Augusta Health. “The CARES Act relief funding helps combat the coronavirus and its aftermath by allowing us to reallocate that money towards health services while still offering our workers and patients essential transit service to Augusta Health on the Route 250 Connector.”

BRITE has continued to operate all transit routes in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County on a normal schedule during the pandemic, and plans to continue to do so. Transit is critical to our communities as many of our residents rely on BRITE to get them to work, medical services, and essential shopping.

“BRITE has been a blessing to me as I travel back and forth to the hospital for appointments,” says Staunton resident Dennis White. “I can always call and they’ll be right there for me.”

BRITE Transit public transportation services are administered by the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC), with operational recommendations provided by the BRITE Transit Advisory Committee (BTAC).