Transit funding, regional transit priorities and development top the list of CMT’s legislative priorities for FY17. Citizens for Modern Transit recently released its FY17 Legislative Priorities. The economic future of the State of Missouri is tied directly to our commitment to funding of the State’s infrastructure.
Investment in public transit throughout Missouri delivers proven economic results, and promotes private development and reinvestment in both rural and urban under-resourced communities. Community leaders across the State have identified public transit priorities that will increase service and yield significant positive economic returns. These plans will improve access to opportunity, attract talent, and create thousands of jobs – all priorities of Missouri’s newly elected state leadership. CMT will be advocating for local, state and federal policies and funding for operating and capital for transit to provide an opportunity for these plans to come to fruition.
At the state level, CMT is calling for the restoration of operating funding to 2002 levels of $8.3 million. This funding is split between 32 transit providers across Missouri. In addition, CMT will be advocating for the reinstatement of cost sharing program like the Missouri Moves Cost Share Program which for the first time had allocated one-third of the dollars to multi-modal projects. These programs provide an opportunity for MO transit providers to leverage local dollars to look at both capital and operating needs in their respective areas.
At the regional level, CMT will be advocating for a safe, secure transit system for current and future riders. CMT will also support prioritizing public transit projects for the future for the region determined by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and advocate, support and assist in creating local funding mechanism(s)/package for transit funding.
Federally, CMT supported the passage of a long-term Federal Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act to replace and restructure the authorization levels articulated in the two-year MAP-21 legislation which has been extended numerous times. President Obama signed a new five-year transportation bill into law in December, 2015. While there is $61 billion for transit over the five years, the new required matching formula is 50:50. One more reason the State of Missouri needs to step up for transit.
There are many ways for you to be involved with these efforts as CMT members and transit supporters.
1. Please contact your legislators now as we head into 2017 to express your interest in transit funding. There will be many new legislators taking office this session and will need to hear from their constituents that transit makes a difference.
2. Continue reading CMT’s eblast and blog postings that will keep you updated on where things stand.
3. Call, visit or email your state legislators about the need for a state funding plan for transit.
4. Contact Governor Elect Greitens about the need for Missouri to support public transit.
5. 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!