The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) provider members provide more than 60 million rides a year almost everywhere for everybody almost every day in Missouri, and they employ thousands in our communities. In addition, Missouri transit is delivering $3.6 billion in economic activity each year. Transit is delivering in Missouri despite the distinct lack of funding. But, the impact could be bigger, better and more profound. Any increase in investment by the State of Missouri could exponentially change the game in terms of economic return.
MPTA supported the passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which was passed into law in December 2015. In 2020, MPTA supported the CCR that extended the Fast Act one more year. Key for transportation in the extension is an additional $13.6 billion added to the Highway Trust Fund. Additional provisions included:
- An extension of FAST Act funding and provisions from FY 2020 to all of FY 2021.
- A $3.2 billion transfer to the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund.
- An increase to the “multimodal cap” within the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America or INFRA discretionary grant program from $500 million to $600 million.
- An extension of 2017 and 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program obligation deadlines through September 30, 2021.
A new, multi-year transportation bill will be on the agenda for this year. This new legislation is a time for MPTA and its members to make their voices and opinions heard to improve transportation policy and increase transit investment.
Support the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission request of $8.4 million for Missouri transit. This request would include $6.7 million from General Revenue and $1.7 million from the State Transportation Fund. Currently, state transit funding assistance does not cover the impact of rising maintenance/operating costs of keeping the current systems in good repair. For SFY20, the total core budget was $1,710,875 in State Transportation funds for 34 providers. Funding from General Revenue was zeroed out in 2017.
With regards to COVID response in 2021 and vaccine distribution, advocate for prioritization of Missouri transit’s front line workers as essential workers with high priority for vaccination.
Every transit provider in the state of Missouri provides paratransit services. These services are essential for healthcare access, job access, and education. The costs of these rides range from $12 – $93. Without these services, many in Missouri would not be able to live let alone prosper. MPTA is supporting a per ride subsidy of $5. This subsidy will provide much needed, predictable funding for MO providers to ensure this service is provided.
Support a statewide funding plan for transit access for workforce development. Adoption of such a plan would reflect the importance of public transit to expanding opportunities for job access and growth to all Missourians. Twenty-nine thousand jobs are directly or indirectly supported by public transit yet thousands more are supported through transit access. A state investment in transit for workforce development would be a game changer for Missouri employers.
Oppose any efforts to allow conceal and carry on transit and advocate for state-supported law enforcement on transit.
There are many ways for you to be involved with these efforts as MPTA members and transit supporters.
- Please contact your legislators now as we head into 2021 to express your interest in transit funding. There will be many new legislators taking office this session and will need to hear from their constituents that transit makes a difference. In addition, there will be significant discussion on transportation funding.
- Continue reading MPTA’s eblast and blog postings that will keep you updated on where things stand.
- Contact your locally elected officials or weigh in with a letter to the editor about the importance of transit funding. Help build grassroots support in your own community for transit.
- Contact Governor Parson about the need for Missouri to support public transit.
- RIDE TRANSIT, and invite others to get on board with you.
Download the 2021 MPTA Policy Agenda here.