The Missouri Public Transit Association is teaming up with transit providers, transit advocates, Citizens for Modern Transit, stakeholders and interested citizens from across the state in Jefferson City for Transportation Day 2016 on March 16.
Transportation is the key to moving Missouri forward, and there is an opportunity in the 2016 Legislative session to make legislators aware of the importance of public transit. Discussions are underway about an increase in the Missouri gas tax for roads and bridges (SB623). Other discussions are going on about General Revenue funds for transportation, and MoDOT has requested an additional $1.15 million from the State Transportation Fund for transit this year in their budget. Funding for TOTAL transportation in Missouri including transit needs to be addressed.
Last year the 32 Missouri public transportation providers initially received little more than $500,000 for transit operations from the state. Even though Gov. Nixon release another $1 millon for transit at the end of the year, currently the State of Missouri ranks 44th out of 50 states with regards to funding of public transit. Missouri spends just 9 cents per capita on transit funding. Our neighbor Illinois spends more than $60 per capita on transit.
However, the facts show investment in transit increases access to jobs, education and healthcare; creates development opportunities; and provides reinvestment in the disadvantaged areas of our state. According to the American Public Transit Association, for every dollar invested in transit projects there is a $4 return for the state.
On March 16, MPTA will host a meeting with MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna for its members and stakeholders. This is an opportunity to meet with Mr. McKenna and discuss the importance of transit to Missouri’s economy. In addition, we strongly encourage attendees to attend any hearings that day related to transit and visit with their respective legislators on the importance of transit and total transportation funding in Missouri.
MPTA transit provider members provide more than 67 million rides almost everywhere for everybody every day in Missouri, and they employ thousands in our communities. We hope you will consider joining MPTA in their efforts by attending this event at the Capitol. We have heard from legislators that they do no think transit is a priority for people in Missouri because they are not hearing it is a priority. Help us spread the word on March 16.
Amtrak service is an option for some to Jefferson City. The schedule and fares are available at http://www.amtrak.com/.
Please register with MPTA here or RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be attending.