While 2022 delivered a legislative win for transit, transit investment and addressing the operator shortage top the list of legislative priorities as the organization moves into 2023. The CMT Board of Directors passed their 2023 Policy Agenda CMT at their December meeting, and state investment in Missouri and Illinois are top priorities.
Missouri saw historic funding for public transit with the passage of HB 3004 in 2022. For the first time in two decades, Missouri invested $8.7 million in transit – a sum split amongst the 34 transit providers operating in the state. This included $1,710,875 million in State Transportation Funds with an additional $7 million from General Revenue.
This funding will help provide the non-federal or local match required to enable transit providers to draw down some of the $91 billion in federal funds earmarked for transit as part of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Federal funding support requires a 50:50 match for transit operations and an 80:20 match for capital programming.
Support the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission request of $17,160,875 for Missouri transit. This request would include $15.45 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 SFY23, the total core budget was $1,710,875 in State Transportation funds and $7 million in General Revenue for 34 providers. According to the 2022 Statewide Transit Needs Assessment Study this $17.16 million would put Missouri in line with some of its peer states with regards to transit investment.
Support a statewide apprentice program for transit operators. 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. In addition, the shortage of operators is one of the biggest challenges right now to the transit industry. Creation of a statewide apprentice program would standardize training across Missouri helping both rural and urban agencies meet the service demands.
CMT supports the continuation of IL State Operating Assistance at $50 million for St. Clair County, IL.
Oppose any efforts to allow conceal and carry on transit and advocate for local law enforcement partnerships 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 transit providers have opposed any legislation which would allow carrying concealed weapons (CCW) on transit.
- 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 placemaking and development projects near transit.
- Support local legislation/policy promoting development near transit i.e. parking requirement policies, incentive packages.
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 2023 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 and invest in public transit 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!