STATE TRANSIT FUNDING ISSUES

The continued reduction of federal transit funding forces states to respond in a crisis environment. States must not only increase transit funding to cover ongoing annual inflationary cost increases but also must make up, at least in part, reduced federal funding to avoid further fare increases and/or service decreases. It is not clear how long states can meet this challenge. Already, some states have reduced their state transit funding programs due to their inability to keep up with these funding pressures. It is essential for the federal government to accept its traditional funding role in the transit funding partnership to stabilize this situation and head off the potentially devastating spiral of higher fares, reduced ridership, and reduced service that led to federal transit funding in the first place. Both the changing federal role in its funding and administration of public transit programs and the large increase in state funding of these public transit programs provide states with a need to reexamine their role in administering public transportation funding programs. States have the option of increasing their involvement in public transit funding through greater financial reporting requirements, establishing service standard criteria, and providing more direct technical assistance. On the other hand, some states may want to emulate the federal program and pass more administrative responsibility to grantees or local governments and reduce their own direct involvement in these programs. There are important pros and cons with each approach, and there is no right answer as to which role is most appropriate for a given state. This paper concludes with a list of some of the major policy issues each state should consider.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00494518
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 31 1990 12:00AM