Citizens for Modern Transit is teaming up with transit providers, transit advocates, the Missouri Public Transit Association, the Kansas City RTA, stakeholders and interested citizens from across the state in Jefferson City for Transportation Day 2017 on February 7.
Public transit delivers for Missouri. Transit delivers jobs in Missouri and economic development opportunities, as well as accessibility to jobs and healthcare.
There is an opportunity in the 2017 Legislative session to make legislators aware of the importance of public transit and the impact restoration of funding levels ($8,000,000) from FY2002 could have on transit service in MO. Discussions continue about an increase in the Missouri gas tax for roads and bridges. Other discussions are going on about General Revenue funds for transportation. Funding for TOTAL transportation in Missouri including transit needs to be addressed.
Last year the 32 public transportation providers in Missouri received $2,210,875 in total operating funding for transit operations from the state. This funding has been on a decline for more than 10 years. Currently the State of Missouri ranks 44th out of 50 states with regards to funding of public transit. In 2015, our neighbor Illinois spent more than $60 per capita on transit, while Missouri spent less than a dime (<$0.10) on transit in the same period.
However, the facts show investment in transit increases access to jobs, education and healthcare; creates development opportunities; and provides reinvestment in the disadvantaged areas of our state. According to the American Public Transit Association, for every dollar invested in transit projects there is a $4 return for the state.
On February 7, 2017, CMT in partnership with MPTA and KCRTA will host a briefing with MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna for its members and stakeholders at 10 a.m.. This is an opportunity to meet with Mr. McKenna and discuss the importance of transit to Missouri’s economy. In addition, we strongly encourage attendees to sit in on any hearings that day related to transit and visit with their respective legislators on the importance of transit and total transportation funding in Missouri.
We have heard from legislators that they do not think transit is a priority for people in Missouri because they are not hearing about it. In addition, Missouri will have a new Governor in office who needs to hear about the importance of transit.Help us spread the word on February 7.
Amtrak service is an option for some to Jefferson City. The schedule and fares are available at http://www.amtrak.com/.