CHAPEL HILL –The new permanent director of your local transit system, Brian Litchfield, says he’s ready to take on his role and provide better service than ever to bus riders across the town.

Litchfield says he learned a lot during his ten months as interim director, and he’s humbled and honored that the Town Manager determined that he would be the best person for the position.

Without the combined effort of its 235 employees, though, Litchfield says Chapel Hill Transit would not have the quality of service it has today.

“Many times, when people think about transit, they think about large buses and bus drivers, and that’s incredibly important, but there are a number of other employees that work for us that help either fix buses or fuel buses or clean buses that are all part of the service that we call Chapel Hill Transit,” Litchfield says.

An important aspect to public transit systems throughout the country—much like any company—is funding, and Litchfield says he plans to incorporate a strategic and sustainable financial planning process to our own transit system, which has grown to become the second largest in the state.

Part of the budget for Chapel Hill Transit is a result of an increase in the sales tax in vehicle registration fees, which were approved by the voters of Orange County.

“We’re beginning to see, as early as this month, service improvements to our local service as a result of that,” Litchfield says.

Litchfield says getting a grasp on what can be done as far as funding of Chapel Hill Transit will be the starting point for any other changes to the system.

“Once we have a good plan in place there, we’ll be in much better shape to begin addressing other areas,” Litchfield says.

Before working in Chapel Hill, Litchfield was the chief development officer for the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority in Des Moines, Iowa.