Citizens for Modern Transit and the Missouri Public Transit Association are teaming up with transit providers, stakeholders and interested citizens from across the state in Jefferson City for Transportation Day 2016 on March 16. Register today!
Transportation is the key to moving Missouri forward, and there is an opportunity in the 2016 Legislative session to make legislators aware of the importance of public transit. Discussions are underway about an increase in the Missouri gas tax for roads and bridges (SB623). Other discussions are going on about General Revenue funds for transportation, and MoDOT has requested an additional $1.15 million from the State Transportation Fund for transit this year in their budget. Funding for TOTAL transportation in Missouri including transit needs to be addressed.
Last year Missouri public transportation providers received little more than $500,000 for transit operations from the state. Currently, the State of Missouri ranks 44th out of 50 states with regards to funding of public transit.
However, the facts show investment in transit increases access to jobs, education and healthcare; creates development opportunities; and provides reinvestment in the disadvantaged areas of our state. According to the American Public Transit Association, for every dollar invested in transit projects there is a $4 return for the state.
On March 16, MPTA will host a meeting with MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. This is an opportunity for those interested in public transit to meet with Mr. McKenna and discuss the importance of transit to Missouri’s economy. In addition, we strongly encourage meeting participants to attend any hearings that day related to transit, and visit with their respective legislators on the importance of transit and total transportation funding in Missouri.
Amtrak service is an option to Jefferson City, but the schedule is such that you’d need to go down the night before to make it in time for the meeting with MoDOT Director McKenna. The schedule and fares are available at http://www.amtrak.com/.
We hope you will consider joining CMT & MPTA in their efforts by attending this event at the Capitol. We have heard from legislators that they do not think transit is a priority for people in Missouri because they are not hearing it is a priority. Missouri spends just 9 cents per capita on transit funding. Our neighbor Illinois spends more than $60 per capita on transit. There is a clear opportunity to make some noise for transit.