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Representative Ron Hicks has distributed an amendment to SB 656 which would add his conceal carry on transit language to the bill. SB 656 is a bill dealing with other conceal carry provisions. Since this amendment has been distributed, please consider reaching out to your representatives today asking them to oppose the amendment if it is offered. Find your Representative here: http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx
Various bills were introduced in the MO House of Representatives and the MO Senate this session which would allow individuals with conceal/carry permits to carry their firearms on public transit buses, vans, trains, and other spaces owned or operated by a public transit provider. In light of the understanding that allowing firearms on public transit may serve as a detriment to ridership and has not been proven to enhance safety and security of the system, many Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) members have opposed any legislation which would allow carrying concealed weapons (CCW) on transit. Several Missouri transit providers including Metro, KCATA, and City Utilities of Springfield have publicly expressed opposition to these bills as well. Reasons cited for opposing legislation included the lack of local control to determine what was best for the particular system and passenger safety concerns.
“A safe, reliable, affordable, and efficient public transportation system in Missouri increases access to health care, education, and employment in our state. However, ridership experience — especially safety and security on platforms, stations, trains and buses — must be a top priority. If the public does not have confidence in a system’s safety and security, they are less likely to use the system and less likely to support public transit. Allowing firearms on transit is not the answer to enhancing the safety and security of these systems,” said Cindy Baker, President of the MPTA. The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) was established in 1980 to provide a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri and to work toward elevating the status of public transit as a priority. Thirty-five years later we continue to work to ensure transit has a voice in this state. MPTA transit provider members provide more than 67 million rides almost everywhere for everybody every day in Missouri, and they employ thousands in Missouri’s rural and urban communities.
Exciting additions this weekend in MO for TRANSIT! MPTA is excited to see all the new transit service, partnerships and events around transit this weekend in Missouri.
Kansas City Streetcar
Kansas City Streetcar will come on board as the first official streetcar line in Missouri on Friday, May 6 to much fanfare. The public celebration starts at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 6, outside of Union Station with a grand opening ceremony featuring Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Federal Transit Administration members, Kansas City Streetcar Authority Chairman Mike Hagedorn and other local dignitaries and elected officials. The ceremony will be followed by an inaugural first ride for those dignitaries and the opening of public streetcar service and community-wide parties and activities.
The public is encouraged to enjoy and explore the many restaurants, boutique shops and other retail business along the streetcar route. There will also be a stationary streetcar parked at Union Station near Pershing Road for your chance to take a selfie with the streetcar. KCATA will be offering free rides all day on Friday in celebration of the opening of the 2 mile streetcar line.
To find out more details about the daily operations of the Kansas City Streetcar, click here.
City Utilities Transit Center
The new City Utilities Transit Center in Springfield will begin operations on May 8. The new facility will bring many new amenities for customers and bus operators alike. Additionally, it will provide for safer and more accessible operations. The new Transit Center will include a large customer lobby with public Wi-Fi and real-time bus arrival information. The Transit Center will also provide an additional convenient location for customers to purchase bus passes at a ticket window or a ticket vending machine. The facility was designed with a sawtooth-style bus bays and an extended platform to accommodate future growth of the system.
"This project is the culmination of more than ten years of hard work by many different people. We are excited to open this terrific new facility to provide a better experience for our customers and our employees. It will provide better amenities, better operations, and improved safety for our passengers and drivers alike," Kelly Turner, PE, Director - Transit, City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri
City Utilities will host a public Grand Opening of the Transit Center on May 6 from 6:00-10:00 PM. This event will be in conjunction with the community's monthly First Friday Artwalk event. There will be live music, artwork on display, and refreshments. It will be a fun night to celebrate the opening of this exciting new facility.
"We are excited to see all the new service coming on board in May. It is imperative that MO address our transit capital and operating funding needs. These two projects are perfect examples of the impact investment in transit can have in our state well beyond the trip from Point A to Point B to economic development opportunities, better access and improved mobility," said Kim Cella, MPTA Executive Director.
The streetcar will be free when it opens. And for one day, fares on all bus routes serving Kansas City, Johnson County, Wyandotte County and Independence will be free, too.
“We are so excited to be part of this watershed event for downtown Kansas City,” said Robbie Makinen, president and chief executive officer of the KCATA. “We hope our residents will use this opportunity to ride the bus and connect with the streetcar to get a taste of what a seamless, regional transit system might be like in the future.”
Kansas City is marking the opening of the new streetcar line with a grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 6, to launch the inaugural streetcar ride.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) announced today that its new RideKC: Bridj microtransit service will expand service starting on May 2, 2016. Residents in downtown Kansas City, Mo., and River Market will be able to travel to jobs near KU Medical Center, Hospital Hill, Union Station, and West 39th Street.
RideKC: Bridj currently brings workers to downtown Kansas City, Hospital Hill, University of Kansas Medical Center, from Westwood, Rosedale, Roeland Park and West 39th Street, along with the 18th and Vine Jazz District and nearby neighborhoods.
KCATA is expanding the RideKC: Bridj service in the River Market and downtown in response to the number of trip requests made through the Bridj app. Since starting service on March 7, more than 2,300 trips have been searched. The additional service coming on line on May 2 was developed in response to more than 100 trip requests for service from downtown to Hospital Hill and University of Kansas Medical Center.
“RideKC: Bridj is allowing us to provide a nimble transit service with a rich technology backbone,” said Robbie Makinen, President and CEO of KCATA. “The ability to target this new transit option is a powerful tool providing vital information during this pilot phase.”
The on-demand transit service is available for morning and afternoon rush hour trips, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The first 10 rides on Bridj are free and can be redeemed by the rider by downloading the app and using the code KCBRIDJ. After the first 10 rides, trips cost an introductory rate of $1.50 -- the same as the local regional bus fare.
Customers can book trips for the new service areas now in the Bridj app. How Bridj Works: Bridj creates dynamic transit that makes it fast, easy and comfortable to move around the city. After downloading the app, customers simply plug in where they are and where they want to go, and the app produces a nearby rally point where riders meet the vehicle. RideKC: Bridj features a guaranteed seat, free Wi-Fi, no transfers and fewer stops along the way.
As a part of the Missouri Public Transit Association's efforts to promote our members and the services they provide in MO, we are launching a new series, MEET MPTA. This week we are highlighting the services provided by St. Joseph Transit serving Buchanan County in Missouri and Doniphan County in Kansas.
St. Joseph Transit “The Ride” operates eight fixed routes that encompass the city limits of St. Joseph and Elwood, Kansas. Curb-to-curb route deviations are available, on a scheduled or walk-on basis, to all users of the transit system regardless of ability. The RIde provides more than 425,000 rides annually and employs 53 residents of MO. It is a division of the Public Works and Transportation Department of the City of St. Joseph in Buchanan County, Missouri.
St. Joseph Transit was established before the Civil War and continues to operate one of the oldest systems in the United States. Currently, St. Joseph Transit offers all informational brochures in both Spanish and English.
“It is imperative we ensure the residents of Buchanan County and Doniphan County have access to jobs, healthcare and education. We have been offering service in this area for decades, and each year we strive to ensure the service on the street is the best it can be,” said Andy Clements, Asst. Director of Public Works & Transportation with St. Joseph and a MPTA Board member.
For more info, please visit www.StJoetransit.info or call 816.233.6700.
TransportationCamp is an unconference bringing together transportation professionals, technologists, and others interested in the intersection of urban transportation and technology. TransportationCamp raises awareness of this opportunity and builds connections between disparate innovators in public administration, transportation operations, information design, and software engineering.
This is not a traditional conference. The session topics and activities are suggested by the attendees. In addition to talks and presentations from big names in transportation and technology, TransportationCamp provides an opportunity for every attendee to be a participant in shaping and leading the event. Be prepared to get involved and meet people.
Major themes reflect the backgrounds and interests of the participants. You'll find sessions about technology, policy issues, urban planning, and more.
HEre is an opportunity for those in the Midwest to participate in Camp!
You are invited to join transit providers, stakeholders and riders on August 14-17, 2016 at The Westin at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri for the joint 2016 Transit Midwest/State Public Transit Partnership Conference, a cooperative effort among the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas & Missouri, and the FTA state partnership meeting of AASHTO, APTA, & CTAA!
The planning committee has organized a quality program to educate and inform participants of issues critical to the transit industry. The workshops will provide participants with the most current information. For the 2016 conference, there is a special emphasis on the relationship between public transportation and healthcare. We have sessions for rural, small urban and urban systems, mobility managers, health care professionals, direct service employees, state DOT’s, FTA and many more.
This is an excellent opportunity for Vendors to showcase their business at one location and reach a multitude of state and national decision-makers, saving 75% on travel, meals and lodging. Exhibit packages are reasonable with the lowest package less than the combined fees of the four states individually. Attendance is expected to encompass 500 or more public transportation leaders throughout the nation and Midwest. There will be several vendors displaying vehicles of all sizes, from vans to 40 foot buses. Bus displays will be limited and provided on a first come, first served basis.
Please visit the website at http://www.cabllc.com/TransitMidwest/general.htm for conference and registration information.
Section 4.412 of HB 2004 refers to the “Missouri Moves” Program. Last week, the Senate amended the language to specifically include multimodal among the projects which could be considered for funding. However, the House did not include the multi-modal language. Currently the House version only includes funding for roads and bridges.
The House funded Missouri Moves with $30,000,000 from the Surplus Revenue Fund while the Senate elected to fund it with $20,000,000 in general revenue funds. The funding source will be part of the discussion and negotiation during this conference committee on HB 2004.
Now is the time to reach out to members of the Conference Committee to ensure the language is multi-modal and the program is funded at the highest possible level:
HB 2004 Conference Committee members
House: * Tom Flanigan, Chair (Carthage/Joplin area) - 573-751-5458, Thomas.Flanigan@house.mo.gov
* Scott Fitzpatrick (Monett/Cassville area) - 573-751-1488, Scott.Fitzpatrick@house.mo.gov
* Lincoln Hough (Springfield) - 573-751-9809, Lincoln.Hough@house.mo.gov
* Gail McCann-Beatty (Kansas City) - 573-751-2124, Gail.Beatty@house.mo.gov
* Michael Butler (St Louis city) - 573-751-6800, Michael.Butler@house.mo.gov
* Kurt Schaefer, Chair (Columbia) - (573) 751-3931, firstname.lastname@example.org
* Ryan Silvey (KC), (573) 751-5282, Ryan.Silvey@senate.mo.gov
* Kiki Curls (KC), (573) 751-3158, email@example.com
* Dan Brown (Rolla) - (573) 751-5713, Dan.Brown@senate.mo.gov
* Gina Walsh (St Louis County) - (573) 751-2420, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ASK. . .
Please support the Senate version supporting 'multi-modal projects' including transit and the House funding amount of $30 million for Section 4.412 of HB 2004. Since the funding comes from General Revenue, it is imperative these funds be used for all modes of transportation especially transit which is becoming a top priority in many of our local communities.
Before leaving on Thursday, the Senate took up and passed all of the appropriation bills including adopting the House position on transit assistance funding. This included $500,000 in general revenue and $1,710,875 in state transportation funds for a total of $2,210,875 in funding. This is an increase of $1,150,000 over last year's appropriation.
Since the House and Senate passed the same amounts of funding for transit assistance in their respective versions of the bill, this item will not be an issue in conference.
In addition during the appropriation process there was funding put into HB 2004 to fund a line item referred to as “Move Missouri Forward”. It is a cost share program for communities to fund local projects. The Senate amended the language to specifically include multimodal among the projects which could be considered for funding.
The House funded Move Missouri Forward with $30,000,000 from the Surplus Revenue Fund while the Senate elected to fund it with $20,000,000 in general revenue funds. The funding source will be part of the discussion and negotiation during conference committee on HB 2004. The conference committee will be comprised of five members of each chamber to resolve the differences between the two versions of the bills.