mass transit

Regional stakeholders and Citizens for Modern Transit members converse over breakfast before a presentation on funding the expansion of mass transit in St. Louis on Thursday, July 23, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:42 p.m. with more detail -Efforts to expand mass transit in the St. Louis region gained momentum Thursday with the release of a funding study and a call for public input on future transit lines.  But what project or projects to fund remains undecided. What's more, once a project has been identified, the odds of successfully funding it remains unclear due to reduced availability of federal funding and lack of state support for public transportation.

Madison County Transit

Madison County, Illinois, bus riders will soon start seeing some changes in service.  

Starting next Sunday, Madison County Transit will bring an entirely new bus route to areas popular with the Highland community, and add evening and weekend service elsewhere.

The expanded services will not be offered on all routes. Instead, according to SJ Morrison, Director of Marketing and Planning for Madison County’s transit system, the department evaluated holes in service and community demands, then chose to expand bus routes that demonstrated the most need.

File photo | Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The Missouri Legislature is considering asking voters to raise the sales tax by 1 percent (SJR 48) to fund transportation projects. For the first time, transit, bike, pedestrian and passenger rail projects would be eligible to compete for funding.

But this proposition is risky for non-highway modes of transportation. Why? That is the same funding source cities, transit agencies, bike and pedestrian interests, transportation development districts and community improvement districts are using to make local improvements in the absence of state funding.

The St. Louis area could create more jobs if a greater portion of its transportation funding went to mass transit rather than to building roads and highways, a new study by the Public Policy Research Center of the University of Missouri-St. Louis shows.