More than 250 transit supporters, providers and friends converged on the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 16 for Transportation Day, hosted by the Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA). With a message supporting MO funding for transit, CMT, the MPTA, the ATU of St. Louis and Kansas City, and both rural and urban transit providers, their riders and their supporters told their personal stories to legislators as a part of the day’s events. In addition, transit supporters had the opportunity to hear directly from MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna as a part of a special briefing at the Capitol.
- Missouri ranks 44th in public transportation funding among the 50 states.
- Of the states that rank below us, four receive no state funding for transit: AL, AZ, HI, and UT. NH received $.04 and Nevada $.01 per capita.
- Missouri spends a mere 9 cents ($0.09) per capita on public transportation funding.
- In 2011, MO’s per capita investment was $0.50, an 82% decline in 2 years.
- People in literally every county in Missouri rely on public transportation for access to medical care, school, jobs, and other essential services.
- Missouri is one of a few states that has public transportation – whether an OATS or SMTS bus – in every county.
- According to the American Public Transit Association, for every dollar invested in transit projects there is a $4 return for the state.
- But last year Missouri public transportation providers received little more than $1.5 million for transit operations from the state. That’s $1.5 million split among 32 different transit providers across the state. When it comes time to apply for Federal matching grants, Missourians have nothing to offer as a match.
- Transit provides jobs in MO. The 32 transit providers in the state employ thousands in both MO’s urban and rural communities.
“We know transit can make a difference, not only in St. Louis, but in all of MO. According to the MPTA, MO transit provider members provide more than 67 million rides each year almost everywhere for everybody every day in Missouri, and they employ thousands in both our rural and urban communities. However, Missouri needs to invest more in transit for both its cities and its rural communities. Transportation Day provided transit supporters the opportunity to tell their stories directly to their legislators – making the connection between transit and the direct impact it is having in their communities,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director.