The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) Board of Directors recently endorsed Proposition D in support of transportation infrastructure funding, however, the Board also called on the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri Transportation and Highway Commission and the Missouri General Assembly to prioritize transit investment as well. As the legislature and Governor examine Missouri’s economic future, it’s important to realize funds to develop transit infrastructure are key. Since 2002, transit funding has declined significantly from a high of $8,367,997. The last several years, transit funding has dropped to a low of $1.7 million for 34 providers from across the state even with the support of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission for additional funding. This year, MPTA is strongly urging the Governor and Missouri General Assembly to support a return to the 2002 levels of funding from General Revenue for transit operations in Missouri while seeking a long-term funding source for transit capital and operations.
As the state transit association representing transit providers, community organizations and stakeholders, the MPTA is committed to advocating for state funding for transit to ensure safe, secure, high-quality transit systems for current and future riders in both rural and urban areas of Missouri. A commitment to developing and implementing a total transportation package that includes investment in public transit will drive economic growth – improving access to opportunity, attracting talent and creating thousands of jobs. Unfortunately, Missouri is currently spending less than 20 cents per capita on transit. That is far less than neighboring states, and that is not enough to keep Missouri moving forward.
Growth and development patterns are greatly impacted by decisions on how and where to invest in transportation infrastructure. For example, public transit dollars invested in mature communities are playing a key role in urban revitalization and redevelopment. This can be seen in Kansas City and St. Louis, where millions in development have occurred along the Kansas City Streetcar and adjacent to the new Cortex infill MetroLink Station in St. Louis. Meanwhile, in rural communities, investment in transit is providing greater access to jobs, education and quality healthcare.
At this time, Missouri transit purveyors provide more than 62 million trips annually. But, as these providers deal with the effects of chronic underinvestment in operating assistance, capital assets, and infrastructure improvements, many are being forced to drastically cut back on services they offer, leaving residents without access to critical employment, educational and healthcare services. Missouri residents need well-resourced, well-operated transit options..
The 21st Century Task Force on Transportation recent report called for $50-70 million annually for transit and multimodal transportation. MPTA strongly urges in the short term support for the request of $8,367,997 million in General Revenue with an additional $1.7 million from the State Transportation Fund for 34 transit providers in the state. In the long term, the Governor and Missouri General Assembly must support a statewide investment plan for total transportation including transit.
Proposition D Resolution Passed Oct. 22, 2018
In so far as the Missouri Public Transit Association’s mission is to provide a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri and to work toward elevating the status of public transit as a national priority. The Missouri Public Transit Association values personal mobility as a basic quality of life by promoting access to public transit services; and
Whereas Missouri ranks near the bottom of the list nationally with regard to transportation/transit funding; and
Whereas, the state motor fuel tax has not been raised in more than 22 years, and the Prop. D referendum calls for an increase from $0.17/gallon to $0.27/gallon over a four year period, with an annual increase of 2.5 cents per gallon per year, generating approximately $288 million annually; and
Whereas, fifteen percent of funds will go to counties and fifteen percent to cities annually; and
Whereas, currently all 34 transit providers in the state of Missouri utilize the current road and bridge system for some if not all of their service provided to residents of the state for access to jobs, education and healthcare; and
Whereas, this influx of funding from Prop. D for Missouri State Law enforcement and road construction and maintenance potentially alleviates some of the burden on the State Transportation Fund, providing possible additional funding availability for transit and multi-modal functions; and
Whereas, in SY2018 Missouri transit providers received little more than $1.7 million from the State Transportation Fund for 34 transit providers for operating assistance; and
Whereas, since 2002 funding levels of $$8,367,997 million in general revenue, MO transit providers have seen a steady decline in general revenues funds for operating assistance to the current funding of $0 from general revenues;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the MPTA Board of Directors endorses Proposition D however;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the MPTA Board calls on the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri Transportation and Highway Commission and the Missouri General Assembly to identify a sustainable source of funding to restore state operating assistance for transit to the 2002 funding levels of $8,367,997 million annually.