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Recent Survey of Missouri General Assembly Candidates Demonstrate Support for Public Transit

A recent candidate survey on transportation investment by Missourians for Transportation Investment (MFTI) showed 94% of respondents indicated they would vote in favor of bills to provide increased dedicated funding for public transportation. In addition, 40% indicated they would sponsor bills to achieve this objective.  The online survey was conducted from May 26 through June 15, 2020.

A link to the online survey was sent to 281 candidates for seats in the Missouri General Assembly. The online survey received 95 responses, representing a 34% overall completion rate. The link was sent to 45 candidates for state senate, with 12 completing the survey, representing a 27% completion rate. The link was sent to 236 candidates for the Missouri house, with 83 completing the survey, representing a 35% response rate.  The survey asked candidates a series of questions about transportation investment in Missouri, and their support for increased transportation investment. Results from the survey are outlined below:

There is significant support to address transportation investment in the next legislative session.

•    63% of respondents indicated, during the 2021 legislative session, they would vote in favor of a bill to capture internet sales/use taxes and dedicate a portion of those taxes to transportation investment.
•    54% of respondents indicated, during the 2021 legislative session, they would vote in favor of a bill to provide a 6-cent state motor fuel tax increase phased-in over 3 years.
•    53% of respondents indicated, during the 2021 legislative session, they would vote in favor of a 10-cent state motor fuel tax increase phased-in over 5 years.
•    47% of respondents indicated, during the 2021 legislative session, they would vote in favor of a bill to provide a one-time 2-cent state motor fuel tax increase.
•    71% of respondents indicated, during the 2021 legislative session, they would vote in favor of a bill to increase investment in public transportation, ports, and airports from general revenue.

There is significant support for transportation investment overall.

•    94% of respondents indicated they would vote in favor of bills to provide increased dedicated funding for public transportation. 40% indicated they would sponsor bills to achieve this objective.

•    99% of respondents indicated they would support adequate and sustainable transportation funding, with 62% indicating it would be among their “Top 3” legislative priorities.
•    99% of respondents indicated they would vote in favor of bills to fund unmet transportation priorities and create jobs. 47% of respondents indicated they would sponsor bills to achieve this objective.
•    99% of respondents indicated they would vote in favor of bills to increase transportation funding to more effectively, and more efficiently, move freight. 42% of respondents indicated they would sponsor bills to achieve this objective.
•    99% of respondents indicated they would vote in favor of bills to provide increased funding for safety improvements to save Missouri lives. 40% indicated they would sponsor bills to achieve this objective.

Candidates are increasingly aware of the need to address transportation investment.

•    58% of respondents gave the overall condition of Missouri’s transportation infrastructure a grade of C. 38% gave it a grade of D.
•    73% of respondents believe the Missouri Department of Transportation operates efficiently.
•    80% of respondents indicated they have read the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Citizens Guide to Transportation Funding in Missouri.
•    73% of respondents indicated they have read the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force final report.

 

“We know Missouri’s investment in public transit is woefully low at $1.7 million split among 34 transit providers across the state.   We rank 46th in the country with regards to funding for public transit according to a recent AASHTO report.  We know Missouri’s public transit’s return on investment is significant delivering more than $3.6 billion in economic returns and supporting more than 29,000 jobs statewide in 2019. An increase in investment will only deliver an even greater return for the state, and voters need to be talking to their candidates about supporting public transit,” said Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit.


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