To give cities the predictable transit funding they need to plan for the future, we will move forward with making the federal commitment to fund public transit permanent, and will make sure that it keeps up with the rising cost of construction over time. The National Conference of State Legislatures first and foremost thanks the Rockefeller Foundation for the support and vision that made this report possible. Lawmakers also agreed to provide $45 billion in transportation-related assistance, including: $16 billion for airlines to pay the salaries of workers and contractors. The ATP is a major source of funding for active transportation improvements. Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069, Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff, E-Learning | Staff Professional Development, Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce, On Track: How States Fund and Support Public Transportation, he role states and particularly state legislatures play in supporting and funding public transportation typically is not a well-understood dynamic. A 0.5 percent vehicle dealer privilege tax on new car sales will fund rebates for electric vehicles and provide ongoing funding for the multimodal ConnectOregon program. Transit users pay fares for each trip they take, just as drivers pay for highways with fuel taxes. New York State transit systems carry nearly one-third of the nation's transit riders and provide nearly one-quarter of transit services nationwide. This document provides an overview of why transit should receive government funds and how those revenues should be raised. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for partnering on the groundbreaking Transportation Governance and Finance 50-state report and our many joint presentations on the latest in transportation funding and finance. The act, which supports transit funding through fiscal year 2020, reauthorizes FTA programs and includes changes to improve mobility, streamline capital project construction and acquisition, and increase the safety of public transportation systems across the country. local income taxes to be earmarked for public transit, or of imposing and raising consumer taxes (including the drink tax, gas tax, sales tax, etc.) Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues. Tolls, user fees, and utility rates are the most obvious way to generate revenue from a public asset. The most likely method for private funding of public infrastructure in Pennsylvania is Act 88 of 20… Typically, about 80% of federal public transportation program funding comes from the mass transit account of the Highway Trust Fund and 20% comes from the general fund of the U.S. Treasury. Source: APTA 2013 Public Transportation Fact Book Public Transit Sources of Revenue Funding Sources for Transit:" " Federal: STP Funds, New Starts, Small Starts, TIGER" State: Motor Fuel Taxes, General Fund Expenditures, Property Taxes, Income Taxes, Sales Taxes, "" Local: Property, Income, Sales, License Fees, User Fees, Business Activity Taxes" Financing the construction, operation and maintenance of public transportation systems involves many different types of funding sources, including federal and non-federal grants, cooperative agreements, loans, and revenue sources. These DOT contacts were provided to us, in most cases, by Shayne Gill, the Passenger Rail and Aviation Programs manager with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). 7700 East First Place A 0.1 percent employee payroll tax ($1 for $1,000 in payroll) will improve public transportation service in both rural and urban communities. When transit gets people out of their cars, the result is less congestion, less pollution and fewer accidental injuries and deaths. While some core transit programs are funded through the trust fund, the programs for new transit construction are discretionary. These trips represent riders from every state, race and socioeconomic class. The report also benefited enormously from the contributions, suggestions and input of many state legislators, state agency staff and other knowledgeable stakeholders. We also would like to thank Sharon Edgar, the administrator for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Passenger Transportation. Different types of financing arrangements such as leases and public private partnerships have been used to fund the procurement of materials and activities. This. The public sector spends north of $170 billion each year on transportation, and we’ll need to spend even more to … Nearly 68 percent of respondents supported increased federal spending, and nearly 74 percent agreed that tax dollars should be used to create, expand and improve public transportation. Rail, bus, and trolleys provide travel options. Too numerous to be named here, their efforts immeasurably strengthened the final product. UNITED STATES PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP. The act, which supports transit funding through fiscal year 2020, reauthorizes FTA programs and includes changes to improve mobility, streamline capital project construction and acquisition, and increase the safety of public transportation systems across the country. The private financing, construction, and operation of revenue-generating public assets is the most obvious avenue for filling the funding gap for new infrastructure. U.S. PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. In recent decades, the government has continued to expand its role in state and local highway and transportation … Alternative levies can be designed to simultaneously raise revenue while also ensuring that commuters pay their fair share of the social costs caused by driving. Where will the money come from to maintain and improve the public mass transit system that our people need This report would not have been possible without their graciously taking the time to respond to our questionnaire, adding to their already full plate of responsibilities and duties. The New York State Department of Transportation distributes about $3.0 billion annually in Statewide Mass Transportation Operating Assistance (STOA), and other transportation assistance, to approximately 130 transit operators. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its ongoing support that allows NCSL to comprehensively track traffic safety legislative trends across the nation. Many states use common funding sources to support transit: motor fuel taxes, state transportation funds, general funds and automobile-related fees or taxes. Policies also do not require cars and trucks to bear the enormous social costs that they create from pollution, congestion and accidents. Of particular note, Leann Stelzer was instrumental in editing and formatting the report. It also sets safety regulations for all major modes of transportation. Gill’s participation was imperative in collecting the state responses for this report, and we extend our sincere thanks for his assistance. Other public passenger transport is provided by dozens of urban and rural transit systems and eight metropolitan transit authorities, which derive operational funding from fees and local sources and capital funding (for vehicles, construction, etc.) operating assistance funds Capital Assistance Supports costs borne by eligible recipients for public transportation capital projects Program consists of 3 project types: State of Good Repair (SGR) Minor Enhancements (MIN) Major Expansions (MAJ) Local and State Government Transportation … Decades of transportation, housing and land-use policies have encouraged transit-unfriendly patterns of spread out development. While the most common state-level support for public transportation comes in the form of funding, other types of program support exist. New funding for public transportation can come to states from a variety of different sources. Many states are taking further steps to create alternative funding and finance mechanisms for public transportation. Part of the problem is changing political demographics. The single largest line items in states’ budgets include federal funding for transportation, Medicaid and other social assistance programs. Parking costs are treated separately from transit costs, even if they are incurred in conjunction with an employee’s use of public transit or vanpools. The Department of Transportation is responsible for planning and coordinating federal transportation projects. To get projects moving quickly, the Government is funding up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for projects. While the most common state-level support for public transportation comes in the form of funding, other types of program support exist. These can be crucial for low-income or middle-income residents who live far from job centers and desire more affordable transportation options. Washington, D.C. 20001 She provided a number of timely and helpful suggestions for our survey and the overall report. State actions are orga- nized into five categories in this report: Organi - zational/Structural, Funding, Finance, Polices and State/Local Nexus. See which 10 states invested the most in public transportation: It also briefly discusses some ways to ensure that transit spending can best fulfill its policy goals. While the most common state-level support for public transportation comes in the form of funding, other types of program support exist. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law in December 2015. A 2014 study found that even non-users support transit at the voting booth due to public transportation’s public benefits to society. These include: sales taxes, general revenues, development fees and additional funds from the federal government. Without access to public transportation, millions of Americans would be left with fewer transportation options, potentially leading to higher transportation costs, longer travel times and, in some instances, an inability to travel at all, forcing them to forego possible employment, health and social opportunities. Even for people who do have a car and ordinarily drive, transit provides a valuable option when big events make parking difficult or the car is in the shop. Accelerated design, implementation and construction work for new large-scale projects, such as new light rail transit lines in Greater Vancouver and Ottawa. The Highway Trust Fund, the principal source of federal surface transportation funding, is increasingly unable to maintain current spending levels for highway and transit programs. This website uses cookies to analyze traffic and for other purposes. Americans across the country see public transportation as an important public good and a benefit to their cities, municipalities and communities. This report highlights the many successful state efforts to provide high-quality transit options, with an emphasis on state legislative actions. A 2014 survey conducted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) asked respondents about their feelings on funding for public transportation. Increased passenger fares, on the other hand, are typically a poor source of additional revenues because they deter riders. Such considerations, however, leave the central question unresolved. primarily from bond … New York State Department of Transportation coordinates operation of transportation facilities and services including highway, bridges, railroad, mass transit, port, waterway and aviation facilities Art Guzzetti and Rich Weaver with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for providing helpful assistance and research. A critical source of information about the state role in public transportation was state department of transportation transit contacts. Many states use common funding sources to support transit: motor fuel taxes, state transportation funds, general funds and automobile-related fees or taxes. Rail transportation played a key role in the development of the U.S. in the 19 th and first half of the 20 th Century. to help fund transit. Many states use common funding sources to support transit: motor fuel taxes, state transportation funds, general funds and automobile-related fees or taxes. The FTA supports transit development through such programs as the New Starts Program , which provides funding for new rapid transit projects and the rehabilitation of existing lines, the Job Access and Reverse Commutes (JARC) program, which provides funding to assist the poor in accessing jobs in underserved communities, and operating subsidies to transit agencies in … Transit can also provide local economic stimulus by attracting more people to a community, making it a destination for shoppers and employers. Appropriated funds may not be used for these purposes unless exceptional circumstances exist. America’s population increasingly lives and works in the suburbs where transit appears less relevant and its benefits less direct. State actions are organized into five categories in this report: Throughout the report, specific state programs and initiatives are examined in detail to explore traditional, innovative and emerging methods of state support for public transportation. Many communities grew up around their rail connection. New funding for public transportation can come to states from a variety of different sources. The Department of Transportation subsidizes and regulates highways, airports, air traffic control, urban transit, passenger rail, and other activities. Your donation supports U.S. PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress. In other words, according to the American Public Transportation Association's economic impact report, investing in public transit is a solid way to help develop a robust, thriving city. Agencies may also provide such parking at the agency’s office for van pools and car pools. These include: sales taxes, general revenues, development fees and additional funds from the federal government. Transit may appear less relevant to most Arizonans, but it is more necessary than ever. On Track: How States Fund and Support Public Transportation (Full Report). We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill. In fact it is one of the only major resources statewide. Many states are taking further steps to create alternative funding and finance mechanisms for public transportation. Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800, 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515 Their answers informed the entire report and helped construct a rich examination of the state role in public transportation. In contrast, the highway portions of the transportation program are funded entirely by the trust fund, effectively protecting that portion of the transportation budget from cuts. Congress initiated aid to the states for highways in 1916, and it launched construction of the interstate highway system in 1956. Congress authorized in Title 23, United States Code, Section 125, a special program from the Highway Trust Fund for the repair or reconstruction of Federal-aid highways and roads on Federal lands that have suffered serious damage as a result of (1) natural disasters or (2) … Through new bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, the Public Transit stream will provide provinces, territories and municipalities with funding to address the new construction, expansion, and improvement and rehabilitation of public transit infrastructure, and active transportation projects. Transit does have other benefits. These funds may be used (as capital funding) for public transportation capital improvements, car and vanpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and intercity or intracity bus terminals and bus facilities. Many states are taking further steps to create alternative funding and finance mechanisms for public transportation. America needs to start directing traffic. U.S. News ranked the states based on the amount of funding invested into public transportation, by state and local governments, in 2015. STP provides the greatest flexibility in the use of funds. Public transportation systems in the U.S. recorded 10,753,151 individual trips in 2014, up nearly 1 percent from 2013. Most transit systems face recurring shortfalls in their operating budgets. Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport, in contrast to private transport, for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public, typically managed on a schedule, operated on established routes, and that charge a posted fee for each trip. You consent to the use of cookies if you use this website. Now those urban rail corridors offer significant opportunities to increase public transportation and reduce dependence upon single passenger automobile travel. report highlights the many successful state efforts to provide high-quality transit options, with an emphasis on state legislative actions. However, taxpayers and consumers would be better off if transportation activities were privatized, which has been a global trend. Transit can also make a big difference for people with limited mobility. Denver, CO 80230 Funding the nation’s surface transportation system has been on GAO's High Risk List since 2007, because the federal government lacks a long-term sustainable strategy to do so.. Copyright 2021 by National Conference of State Legislatures. Although public transportation typically is regarded as serving those Americans living in large metropolitan and urban regions, more transit agencies actually serve rural areas than urban ones. Our deepest gratitude goes to this multitude of experts who provided interviews and quotes, fact-checked and edited the case studies, and offered their insight about innovations in the states. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law in December 2015. Over the past five years statewide ridership has increased by about 13%; it is estimated that more than 70% of these trips are work related. The federal government plays a large role in the nation's highways by funding aid programs for the states and imposing top-down regulations. The Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor for their support of NCSL’s  ongoing  research into human service transportation coordination efforts. Metro wants to make maximize opportunities for funding projects in Los Angeles County. In order to truly raise new funds, the public asset must generate a revenue stream sufficient to provide a return on investment to the private entity. The role states and particularly state legislatures play in supporting and funding public transportation typically is not a well-understood dynamic. When the federal government funds transit expansion, each city has an incentive to compete for transit grants even if costs exceed benefits, because its residents pay a small share of the federal taxes used to pay for the expansion. 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