Public transit is delivering more than $3 billion to the state’s bottom line annually while ensuring transportation accessibility to nearly everyone in every county, every day. While 2021 was marked by a slow return to life in our local communities and across the state, public transit never lost its momentum. It continued delivering essential workers during the height of the pandemic, expanded access as people returned to work, and helped to promote social equality, stimulate development, provide economic returns and position the state of Missouri for recovery and growth. In short, public transit proved it can get us where we need to go.
For more than four decades, the Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) has provided a unified voice for public and specialized transit providers, stakeholders, vendors, and partners from across the state as they collectively work to raise awareness about the role of public transit and why it needs to be an investment priority. This year was no different. We saw significant efforts behind advocating, educating, and advancing public transit in the region. There were record wins with regards to federal funding for public transit, significant increases in education opportunities for our members and the general public, and advancement of transit in Missouri through the launch of a Statewide Transit Needs Assessment Study.
However, we are not there yet. Challenges continue including operator shortages and state investment in transit lags behind almost every other state in the country. Efforts continue to move the needle on state investment including expanding our support base through other community organizations, employers, and stakeholders impacted by public transit.
Transit is essential, and public transit can get us there. Join us for the ride in 2022.
Chance Gallagher, President of the MPTA
Kimberly Cella, Executive Director of the MPTA