WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority was awarded nearly $7 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
“Funding from the CARES Act will allow Wave Transit access to valuable financial resources as the Authority responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic,” said Authority Executive Director Albert Eby.
Wave Transit has continued services during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure access to essential businesses and medical facilities remain available to the community.
Many Wave Transit riders utilize the bus system as their only form of transportation, and without it they would not be able to get to work, the grocery store or the doctor, if needed.
“CARES Act funding will help offset increased costs to ensure that Wave buses and vans are sanitized and cleaned in accordance with CDC recommendations,” Eby said.
"Lost revenue from providing fare free service to promote social distancing and reductions in revenue contracts will be reduced by the CARES Act.”
The $6,856,517 funding will be provided at a 100% federal share, with no local match required, and will be available to support capital, operating, and other expenses generally eligible under those programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.
The money will allow Wave Transit to finish its current fiscal year without additional local taxpayer subsidies. It will also offset expenses incurred by the Authority in future fiscal years as the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, a change in leadership prompted by significant financial issues led Wave Transit to request a total of $700,000 from the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County. The loan is expected to support WAVE’s financial shortcomings until the end of the 2019/2020 fiscal year.