The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved MoDOT’s long range transportation plan on February 11, 2014, but simultaneously warned that without additional resources, there was little chance of delivering the plan. The caution about MoDOT’s ability to deliver the plan stems from falling federal and state fuel tax revenues.
Long range transportation plans are required by the federal government and will guide Missouri’s transportation decisions for the next 20 years. MoDOT’s plan called “A Vision for Missouri’s Transportation Future,” was developed after 7 months of public engagement and articulates the following goals:
- Take care of the transportation system and services we have today.
- Keep all travelers safe, no matter the mode of transportation.
- Invest in projects that spur economic growth and create jobs.
- Give Missourians better transportation choices (more viable urban and rural transit, friendlier bike and pedestrian accommodations, improvements in rail, ports and airport operations.)
The plan was approved with a revised revenue forecast. Originally, MoDOT forecast that federal funds would be maintained going forward, but now it appears that Missouri will see a 19% decrease in federal funds.
In 2014 their budget is $685 million and is projected to fall to $324 million in 2017.
While it is a good policy step to broaden the Missouri Department of Transportation’s service beyond roads and bridges to total transportation, it is also key any funding mechanism to move forward in Missouri provide funding for transit for operating and expansion.
Don’t forget to write your local legislatures and remind them transit funding must be an integral part of any funding mechanism moving forward in Missouri.