It has been an exciting year at the Missouri Public Transit Association. Despite the fact the state took aim at transit funding, we were able to create new opportunities around education, advocacy and growth. MPTA members were honored at the state and national level for excellence in safety and security, driver excellence, and growth in ridership. In addition, the Association was able to grow its membership base and successfully secured a grant from the American Public Transit Association. Here are some of the highlights of 2017:
- MPTA membership revenue increased by more than 18 percent this year. New members included: AARP; Hochschild, Bloom and Company; Jonathan Moore; City of Kansas City; MORryde International, Inc; and Safety Vision.
- MPTA was awarded an American Public Transit Association (APTA) Local Coalition Grant.
- MPTA board welcomed Jameson Auten, chief of regional service delivery and innovations at KCATA.
- New leadership was appointed including new President Dorothy Yeager, executive director of OATS; Drew Brooks from the City of Columbia was named Vice-President; and Kelly Turner, transit director at City Utilities of Springfield, was named secretary/treasurer.
- Expanded education opportunities were offered including the successful 2017 MPTA Education Series and the 2017 MPTA Conference and Expo in Springfield, MO.
- Record levels of earned media including commentary pieces on transit funding, development around transit and the VW Settlement in MO.
- MPTA member accolades locally and on the national front including KCATA’s Security Excellence Awards from APTA; City Utilities’ Driver Excellence; and several MO transit providers increase in ridership by the FTA.
Challenges in 2017 included:
- State funding including reduction of $500,000 in general revenue for operations.
- Uncertainty of federal funding programs.
- Service cuts and revisioning MO’s transit systems in light of limited funding.
“MPTA, through its network of members, stakeholders and constituents, is committed to improving the funding for transit to ensure the positive benefits for Missouri through investment in transit come to fruition,” said Kim Cella, MPTA Executive Director.