Due to the expiration of $1.2 million in federal grants, the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority is looking into a number of cuts — including eliminating trolley services.
WATA is currently examining all of their services to determine how they can balance the budget most efficiently. Last year, trolley fares increased and the second trolley was cancelled to aid budget cuts. Executive Director Kevan Danker cites low ridership as an important reason behind the probable cutting of the service.
The Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily reported WATA is also looking to cancel or change fixed-route service, summer extended hours, off-peak versus peak services, Sunday service and the overall frequency of service.
WATA hosted four public hearings throughout May to give members of the community a chance to comment on these possible changes. Danker says after two of the meetings, they had not received many complaints.
“We’re hearing people like the trolley, but many say they don’t know enough about it,” Danker said. “They aren’t familiar enough with the schedule to use it.”
In an effort to balance the budget to make up for the $1.2 million deficit, WATA received about $1 million in new grants from different localities. The new grants are for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
If the trolley is cut, Danker says he hopes to reinstate it in the future if the budget permits.
“I hope we can bring it back someday, but there’s no guarantee,” Danker said.