Public transit is the only way some Missourians can get to work, school, the hospital, or the grocery store. That’s according to a 2023 study that explored the economic impact of public transportation in Missouri.

Kim Cella, executive director of the Missouri Public Transit Association, sought to demonstrate the impact public transit has in Missouri.

“It is delivering significant amounts of investment as well as a major employer in both urban and rural areas as well as a return to the state itself with taxes and jobs,” she told Missourinet.

According to the results of a six-month study, public transit in Missouri generates over $4 billion annually, including $481 million in spending by riders.

“Their service can consist of van service, small shuttle service up to, you know, our 40-foot buses in the urban areas and fixes route light rail and bus rapid transit in Kansas City,” Cella said. “So, it is a spectrum of services that are provided depending on what area that you’re in.”

The state is home to 32 transit providers in both urban and rural Missouri that provide more than 40 million rides annually.

“We have more than 40 million rides annually that are being offered in every county in the state. Thirty-eight hundred individuals are employed directly by the transit industry and the average annual salary is $86,400,” she said.

Cella praised Gov. Mike Parson for including nearly $12 million for public transit in next year’s state budget.

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