Consider contacting Governor Nixon about transit before 2012 session begins

The 2013 legislative session is right around the corner.  We are asking that as a member of CMT you consider sending a letter to Governor Nixon office asking for inclusion of transit funding in his budget for 2013.  The draft letter below asks for his support of MoDOT’s request for approximately $5.5 million for transit.

Last year, the state provided a little more than $500,000 across the state for transit operating assistance. Metro received a little more than $200,000.   Having transit funding included in the Governor’s budget is key to moving support for transit in the state forward.

DRAFT LETTER:

Office of Governor Jay Nixon
P.O. Box 720

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Dear Governor Nixon:

Transportation is the key to moving Missouri forward.  As a member  of Citizens for Modern Transit and resident of Missouri, I strongly urge you to include transit funding in your budget for 2013 by supporting the Missouri Department of Transportation’s request for $5.5 million for transit operations in the state this year – $560,875 for State Transit Assistance (from State Transportation Fund); $2,500,000 for expanded State Transit Assistance (from General Revenue); and $2,486,607 for Missouri Elderly & Handicapped Transportation Assistance Program (from both General Revenue and the State Transportation Fund).  In addition, any infrastructure bond package that could move forward in the upcoming session must include transit as a key component.

Last year Missouri transportation providers received little more than $500,000.  Transit is the key to putting Missouri back on track!  The facts show investment in transit creates jobs.  Research has shown that every dollar invested in transit projects has a $4 return.  We know that Missouri needs jobs, and transit provides a clear cut way to provide them.

The current level of state support for transit is inadequate.  The State of Missouri ranks near the bottom of the list (45th) for funding of public transit.  Local funding has hit a ceiling in many areas. In order to compete for federal dollars to put our economy back on track, Missouri must make transit a priority through support and funding.  In St. Louis alone, more than 75 percent of the 223,000 daily boardings on transit are for the work commute. 

In addition, with an aging population in Missouri of residents 65 years or older, transit is the answer to meeting the needs of our seniors and disabled residents. Transit increases accessibility, connects them to their communities, and keeps them active and healthy. 

We strongly urge you to support MoDOT’s request in your budget and look at ways to go beyond this appropriation to make public transit a priority for Missouri.

Sincerely,