Citizens for Modern Transit recently released the results from its Transit Funding Study looking at ways to creatively fund transit in the region based on case studies from other cities. CMT commissioned the Transit Funding Study in partnership with Transportation for American in November 2014 in an effort to draw attention to the overall lack of transit funding which continues to prevent large-scale, capital public transit projects from moving forward in the St. Louis region. By commissioning this Transit Funding Study, CMT’s goal was to begin the process of building a case for long-term, sustainable capital and operational funding for greatly enhanced public transit services in the St. Louis region.
The study examined funding sources from the federal, state and local level. According to Transportation for America, increased state participation is crucial in Missouri. Missouri currently provides approximately $500,000 annually for more than 30 transit providers across the state. The study demonstrated that cities with strong transit systems almost always have some funding from their states.
“The purpose of this study wasn’t to unveil THE answer to the funding problem,” said Kim Cella, Executive Director of CMT. “We are going to have to think outside the ‘sales tax’ box and work as a united front on funding mechanisms and advocacy initiatives. Our goal is for this study to serve as a catalyst for discussion that will hopefully begin the process of creating the vision for the future of transit in St. Louis.”
Following up on the release of the study, CMT would like to hear from its members and friends. While this is not a scientific poll, there are some great ideas in the community that may help move the discussions forward. Take a moment, take the survey, weigh in on what options you think are viable for moving a funding mechanism forward for transit in the region. Tell us if you think an increase in gas tax while redefining Missouri constitutional language on “highways” similar to what Colorado did in 2013, tell us if you think funds should be raised locally or at the state level.
Thanks for helping CMT continue the discussion on transit funding.