Both chambers continue to monitor the status of the federal stimulus legislation. The House’s $819.5 billion version, which passed last week, falls short of the Senate’s $920 billion version. A vote is anticipated later this afternoon or over the weekend if a compromise cannot be reached today. Both parties are looking for ways to trim approximately $100 billion from the bill.
Highlights of the Senate package related to transportation include: Over $47 billion for transportation infrastructure, including $27.1 billion for the federal-aid highway program; $5.5 billion for competitive surface transportation grants (new program); $8.4 billion for transit; $3.1 billion for Amtrak and high-speed rail; and $2.5 billion for airport improvements. The House version boosts funding for transit capital projects from $6 billion to $9 billion and tightens the “use it or lose it” mandate for transportation stimulus aid. The amendment would require state agencies or other grant recipients to obligate half of their stimulus allocations of highway, transit and airport funds within 90 days, instead of 180 days under an earlier version of the bill.
Please contact Senator Kit Bond and Senator Claire McCaskill to voice your concerns about transit funding and to seek their support for retaining or increasing the $8.4 billion included in the stimulus package for transit.
Missouri transportation providers experienced a reduction in state funding as a result of the state budget crisis.
These budget cuts directly impact you – riders, students, universities, employers, and others. Budget reductions result in, and in some cases already have, increased fares and service reductions. Any future reductions will impact you in the form of fewer routes, elimination of service to and from specific locations, and/or limited hours of access to services. It does not matter where you reside in Missouri, public transportation services will be impacted by funding reductions. Your help is needed to ensure that no further reductions in funding for transportation services occur. Your voice, as a user or employer impacted by reductions in service, must be heard along with the voice of service providers.
MPTA asks that you take a moment today to contact your State Senator and Representative, and let them know about the importance of state funding for public transportation in Missouri. Missouri's funding of public transportation is one of the lowest in the nation. In 2005, Missouri funded transit at a rate of $1.14 per resident compared to Illinois' rate of $34.91 per resident, ranking Missouri 35th out of 50 states in financial support for transit.