Alternative Transit Relief Fund: Apply now for a new grant program to help nonprofits affected by I-85 bridge fire and collapse

Erin Dreiling News, Nonprofits 0 Comments

On March 30, a blaze underneath Interstate 85 caused a section of the highway to collapse. Both north and southbound lanes will be closed until mid-June, disrupting approximately 250,000 commuters each day. Traffic around the region has been impacted, dramatically increasing commute times and costs and driving commuters to alternative transit systems.

To purchase a monthly transit pass for April, May and June at $95, it will be $285. Commuters also face increased gas costs as they sit in extra traffic or deal with a longer route to work. For households living paycheck to paycheck that are already facing adversity, those increased costs are almost insurmountable.

Our response to this need is the Alternative Transit Relief Fund. This nimble short-term grant program offered in partnership with our donors will help alleviate the financial impact of the Interstate 85 bridge closure on nonprofit staff, volunteers and other constituents. Nonprofits with operating budgets under $2 million may apply for up to $1,000 to use as they see fit to help those hit hardest.

Grant request examples might include:

  • Offsetting costs for staff members who would be better able to get to work via transit but must now pay for a pass ($95/mo) or those that must now spend extra money on gas because of a longer commute.
  • Subsidizing the additional increase in gas costs for volunteers that deliver meals or come to a nonprofit facility to volunteer.
  • Allowing constituents that may have issues accessing a nonprofit’s office another means to get there.


With the reopening of the I-85 bridge, applications for the Alternative Transit Relief Fund are no longer being accepted.