The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) announced a new decision item on the part of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for transit at the Missouri Transit Conference in September. According to MoDOT Director Patrick K. McKenna at the conference, MoDOT recognizes the challenging times that transit is under during the pandemic and will be requesting $6.7 million from General Revenue, a new decision item, in their budget request for a total of $8.4 million for transit operations from the State of Missouri.
This request would return funding levels to those from 2002. This request will now move to the Governor’s office for approval. Last year, MoDOT requested $3 million from General Revenue and $1.7 million from the State Transportation Fund. The Governor only included the $1.7 million in his final budget recommendations.
Mr. McKenna was elected to a one-year term as president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in October of 2019. He outlined the association’s priorities moving forward:
- Increase and prioritize formula based federal funding for states with regards to public transit funding including supporting the Mass Transit Fund of the Highway Trust Fund.
- Increase flexibility for project delivery and technology, removing the burdens.
- Support rural transit through programs like the proposed Rural Transit Act (SB 4468) which would increase federal share from 50 to 80 percent of federal funding.
“We cannot let temporary low ridership disrupt the policy of supporting public transit. We will get through this pandemic. Without support of state and federal government, these agencies will fail,” said McKenna in his remarks.