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. New state legislation creating stable, ongoing funding sources for rural and urban public transit systems;
  2. Increased local funding to ensure Iowans in all 99 counties have access to public transit services, new buses and reasonable transportation expenses; and
  3. A strong, collaborative approach by elected officials and related state agencies to secure more federal funding.
  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.


Learn more by reading about our 2017 legislative priorities.  

2017 IPTA Legislative Priorities 2017 IPTA Legislative Priorities (73 KB)