The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) provider members provide more than 62 million rides a year almost everywhere for everybody almost every day in Missouri, and they employ thousands in our communities. Public transit serves customers in every county, rural and urban, and is critical to meeting the transportation needs of Missouri’s citizens. Good public transit infrastructure improves access to jobs, healthcare and educational opportunities; brings greater economic development; and promotes reinvestment in under-served parts of our community while binding our communities together.
- In 2017, MO transit providers sustained a 24 percent cut to transit operating funding in the State Budget for 2018. The Missouri Senate upheld the Governor’s and House recommendations to cut $500,000 in general revenue for transit operating assistance, effectively limiting transit funding to approximately $1.7 million in State Transportation Fund revenues, distributed among 34 transit providers in Missouri. This funding level remained the same in 2018.
- This year, MoDOT has requested $3 million new decision item for General Revenue and $1,710,875 core budget from the State Transportation Fund. The Governor did not include the $3 million from GR in his budget. Unfortunately, Missouri is currently spending less than 20 cents per capita on transit.
- Transit funding in Missouri topped $8 million in operating assistance in 2002.
- The MO 21st Century Task Force on Transportation recommended $50-70 million annually for transit and multi-modal transportation in their report released in January 2018. Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales, and every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and helps create more than 50,000 jobs. The National Association of Realtors has also indicated that homes, located near public transportation with high-frequency service, are valued 42 percent higher.
- Lack of state support for transit is having a direct impact on residents in both rural and urban Missouri. GoCOMO is set to cut service in again in June, 2019, due to lack of state support to fill the funding gap. Columbia currently receives approximately $25,000 from the State, or four-tenths of one percent of its annual operating budget. OATS, SMTS and other rural providers had to reduce service during the recent government shutdown because of the lack of state support. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), other transit systems across the country receive approximately 40 percent of funding from the state. This is 100 percent not the case in Missouri.
- People in literally every county in Missouri rely on public transportation for access to medical care, school, jobs, and other essential services. OATS for example is the primary provider in northern MO. They serve more than 32,000 people with more than 1.5 million rides provided. Not to mention, OATS employs more than 700 individuals in many MO rural communities. There is a significant need as demonstrated above for more bus funding.
- The average St. Louis and Kansa City household spends nearly 20 percent of its budget on transportation, which includes gas, auto lease or purchase payments, insurance and maintenance. A resident in rural Missouri or a low-income individual can spend up to 40 percent of their income on transportation.
- According to the American Public Transportation Association, for every dollar invested in transit projects there is a $4 return for the state. The positive impact of investment in our transit infrastructure can be seen statewide, the Kansas City Streetcar, new light rail station in St. Louis at Cortex, and the new Transit Center in Downtown Springfield. There has been more than $1 billion in investment tracked around the light rail system in St. Louis and millions invested in the streetcar corridor in development.
Download the pdf here: MO TRANSIT FUNDING TALKING POINTS 2019