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. Support innovative financing options for Trans Iowa bus and bus facilities.

2. Separate transportation services from the Medicaid provider tiered rate and allow transit services to be directly billed to promote better efficiencies and coordination with members.

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


Click here to download our 2019 legislative priorities.