Transit funding and regional transit priorities top the list of CMT’s 2022 Policy Agenda. 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.
CMT supported the three federal COVID relief packages since March 2020 which provided more than $30 billion for public transit with $600 million for Missouri providers over the last 20 months through the CARES Act ($248 million); COVID Relief Act ($99.4 million); and American Rescue Plan ($254 million).
In 2021, CMT advocated for public transit funding in the new, multi-year Infrastructure bill that just passed including $674 million for Missouri transit. CMT is now focusing its efforts on advocating at the national level for St. Louis and Missouri transit projects as the new Infrastructure bill goes into effect.
The federal COVID relief bills delivered a $600 million lifeline for Missouri transit providers. However, Missouri’s investment in transit is even more critical as the impact of the pandemic continues to take its toll on public transit providers across the state. State investment is key to ensure Missouri providers can bring as much federal funding back to the state through matching funds.
However, state funding for transit is even more critical as the impact of the pandemic continues to take its toll on public transit providers across the state. According to the 2019 Transit Impact Study, public transit delivers in Missouri. There is a total of 34 transit providers in the Missouri. They collectively spend $675 million each year on operations, capital improvements and labor compensation for the 4,500 individuals who are employed at an average salary of $64,200. In addition, public transit is delivering more than $3.6 billion in direct and indirect spending each year.
Support the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission’s 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 SFY21, the total core budget was $1,710,875 in State Transportation funds for 34 providers. Funding from General Revenue was zeroed out in 2017.
Support a statewide funding plan for transit access for workforce development. The 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 especially in light of the impact of the pandemic on operator shortages.
CMT supports the continuation of IL State Operating Assistance at $48 million for St. Clair County, IL.
Oppose any efforts to allow conceal and carry on transit and advocate for state-supported law enforcement on transit. In light of the understanding that allowing firearms on public transit may serve as a detriment to ridership and has not been proven to enhance safety and security of the system, many Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) members have opposed any legislation which would allow carrying concealed weapons (CCW) on transit.
Support a list of transit capital infrastructure projects for the ARPA funds.
- Support prioritized public transit project(s) determined by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the local metropolitan planning organization, including regional transit projects.
- Advocate, support and assist in creating local funding mechanism(s)/package for transit funding.
- Ensure local regional transit system is safe/secure for current and future riders through advocacy for adoption of action items outlined in security audit of MetroLink.
- Support local legislation/policy promoting development near transit.
- Support a statewide transit plan for MO.
There are many ways for you to be involved with these efforts as CMT members and transit supporters.
- Please contact your legislators now as we head into 2022 to express your interest in transit funding. There are many new legislators taking office this session and will need to hear from their constituents that transit makes a difference.
- Continue reading CMT’s eblast and blog postings that will keep you updated on where things stand.
- Call, visit or email your state legislators about the need for a state funding plan for transit
- Contact Governor Parson about the need for Missouri to support public transit especially as the Governor calls for bold transportation solutions in Missouri.
- Make sure your locally elected officials also hear from you on the importance of transit.
- RIDE TRANSIT, and invite others to get on board with you.
Thank you in advance for all you do to make St. Louis a better place to be with Transit.