Missouri Governor Nixon will hold his State of the State address this evening. While we are almost certain his remarks will not include funding for transportation as a priority – state funding is critical to maintain and expand transit service in Missouri.
Currently, Missouri ranks 36th in funding for public transit nationally, with 34 states and the District of Columbia ahead of Missouri. In the Midwestern 9-state region that includes Missouri and its bordering states, Missouri ranks 7th in total transit funding followed only by Nebraska and Kentucky. Between 2007 and 2011 (the most recent data available), Missouri had dropped from 4th place and has seen a 55% decrease in transit investment at a time when the demand for public transportation is greater than ever. So while two-thirds of the states in our region have sustained or increased funding, Missouri drastically decreased its investment.
Missouri’s investment in public transportation has been steadily declining since 2000. CMT and others across the state encourage you to support investment in public transportation to support economic growth, create sustainable jobs, improve air quality, and increase access to health care/social services and recreational venues that all generate local revenue.
Support MoDOT’s request for $5.5 million for state transit funding operations:
• $1,060,875 for State Transit Assistance ($500,000 in general revenue and $560,875 from State Transportation Fund)
• $2,000,000 for expanded State Transit Assistance (from General Revenue)
• $2,486,607 for Missouri Elderly & Handicapped Transportation Assistance Program (from both General Revenue and the State
Ensure the inclusion public transit (capital and operations) in any infrastructure package that moves forward. Public transit needs to be a key component of Missouri’s infrastructure. Currently there are discussions going on about a one-cent transportation sales tax statewide as well as a bonding package to include transportation infrastructure projects.
Explore new avenues for support for transit/Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in Missouri, such as a 50/50 Fund for transit capital projects or TOD developments.