CMT supported the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021, which provided a five-year, $91 billion transit authorization as part of the $1.2 trillion measure. CMT will continue to advocate for the use of these available federal funds in the following ways.
- Multi-year transportation reauthorization legislation to provide consistency for planning.
- Growth in the Highway Trust Fund’s Mass Transit Account through increased transportation investment funding. The Highway Trust Fund, which supports federal grant programs for transit, is near insolvency. CMT supports raising the federal gas tax as it has not been raised since 1993 and/or other funding mechanisms to ensure the fund remains solvent.
- Key transit formula programs (Sections 5307, 5310, 5311 and 5339) funded fully out of the Highway Trust Fund’s Mass Transit Account.
- Predictable, steady growth in key formula programs (Sections 5307, 5310, 5311 and 5339) throughout the reauthorization.
- Critical funding for Northside/Southside MetroLink expansion project.
Missouri saw historic funding for public transit with the passage of HB 4 in 2023. 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. The following priorities are the main areas of focus across the bi-state region.
Support the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission request of $11.7 million for transit in the state of Missouri, which includes $10 million from General Revenue and $1.7 million from the State Transportation Fund to be divided among the state’s 32 transit providers. Currently, state transit funding assistance does not cover the impact of rising maintenance/operating costs of keeping the current systems in good repair. This funding is imperative and starts to put Missouri in line with some of its peer states as it relates to transit investment.
Support a statewide apprentice program for transit operators in Missouri. The adoption of such a plan would reflect the importance of public transit to expanding opportunities for job access and growth to all Missourians. 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 service demands.
Support the continuation of Illinois State Operating Assistance at $50 million for St. Clair County, Ill.
Oppose any efforts to allow conceal and carry on transit and advocate for local law enforcement partnerships on transit. 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. As such CMT and many Missouri transit providers have and will continue to oppose any legislation which would allow carrying concealed weapons (CCW) on transit.
CMT will also continue to advocate for transit on the hyper-local level through the following efforts:
- Support of 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 the region’s local transit system is safe/secure for current and future riders by advocating for the adoption of action items outlined in security audit of MetroLink.
- Support of local placemaking and development projects near transit.
- Support of local legislation/policy promoting development near transit (ex: parking requirement policies, incentive packages and more).
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 2024 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!