CHAPEL HILL – Director of Chapel Hill Transit, Brian Litchfield, says changes are coming to local bus routes just in time for the start of school.

“Many of our routes that were on detour as a result of the South Columbia project will be coming off detour at that time,” Litchfield says.

Also, due to new funds from the Orange County bus and rail investment plan, the bus route will be able to extend its evening times year-round.

“Right now, when UNC would not be in service, whether it was on a holiday or throughout the summer, some of our evening and late night service on many of our routes throughout the community would go away,” Litchfield says. “There’s significant demand for those services, we’ve just not had a way to finance that.”

Litchfield says funding public transportation is always a challenge, but with coming budget cuts, he says the department is working hard to find alternate methods of funding.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’re undertaking strategic financial plans: to begin to look at different ways that we could perhaps finance things, not looking at state and federal resources as the only area or a major area of funding for us,” Litchfield says. “We know that that’s likely going to continue to decrease.”

Litchfield, previous the interim director of CHT, was announced as the new director on Tuesday.