Capital and Local Funding Challenges Present Risks

Iowa’s public transit system has provided more than 137 million rides during the past five years. During that same period, fuel expenses increased 60 percent, wages kept pace with living costs and health insurance rates increased by 8 to 15 percent. Vehicle capital costs also continued to grow by 5 to 10 percent each year as a result of inflation and required additions to meet federal clean air standards. Meanwhile, operational funding is flat, virtually no capital funding exists and proposed limitations to local funding create additional challenges.

The estimated direct economic benefit of public transit services in Iowa is $33.4 million. Indirect benefits increase the impact threefold for a total annual economic benefit of more than $100 million. At the local level, the state-regulated transit levy for urban areas has remained at 95 cents/$1,000 valuation since 1991, and there is no levy for counties to support rural operations.

State Actions Needed

The Iowa Public Transit Association believes the following state actions are needed to address public transit needs:

1.Ensure efficient and effective transportation services for Medicaid members by reimbursing transit providers directly for services provided, and requiring at least 90 days notice for any policy changes.

2.Create a transit capital fund that can be used for bus replacement or other transit capital related projects.

3.Monitor tighter legislative oversight of Iowa’s MCOs to improve the level of care for Iowa’s most vulnerable population and to seek financial savings with efficient and effective management of care.

4.Increase State Transit Assistance allocation from a current 4% to a proposed 5%.

5.Sustain Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) funding to $1.5 million.


Click here to download our 2018 legislative priorities.