Regional public transportation district recommended

first_imgREGIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT RECOMMENDEDProposal would change funding of public transportation in VermontSOUTH BURLINGTON, VT — A task force of the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) has recommended a new Regional Public Transportation District for Chittenden County as part of a proposal that would change the way public transportation in Vermont is funded and governed.The initial recommendations of the Regional Public Transportation Initiative Task Force call for legislation that would authorize a Regional Public Transportation District to plan, implement, and manage public transportation in Chittenden County. An interim board of this District would develop detailed governance and funding proposals and report back to the legislature for final approval before a public vote on the issue. The recommendations also provide a mechanism for creating up to five other Districts throughout the State.The Task Force will seek public comment on the recommendations through a series of community meetings in the coming months, and will present the proposal to the Boards of the CCMPO and the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) for approval this fall. Final adoption of the recommendations is scheduled for October.”A workable public transportation system is a crucial factor for strong economic development,” said William Knight, Executive Director of the CCMPO. “This proposal will make it easier for people to get to work, help businesses attract and retain employees, and allow service to expand to some major economic centers, as well as help preserve and protect our cherished natural resources.”A key element of the Regional Public Transportation Initiative’s proposal is decreased reliance on the property tax as a means of funding public transportation. The Task Force recommends the creation of a dedicated fund for public transportation within the State Transportation Fund.The Task Force recommends making monies available by reducing the maximum amount of transportation-generated funds that can be appropriated outside the Agency of Transportations budget. In addition, the proposal would give Regional Public Transportation Districts regional taxing authority with voter approval to levy other taxes and fees on such items as motor vehicle fuel, short-term car rentals, and vehicle registration.This proposal is a regional solution to a regional problem, said Dave Davis, Vice Chair of the Task Force and Chair of the CCTA Board of Commissioners. Vermonters travelbetween towns and counties to work, shop, and attend school, but we cant design services to address that reality because were tied to town-by-town funding through the local property tax. A regional district will serve more people, places, and businesses with greater efficiency.The Regional Public Transportation Initiative is a collaboration between the CCMPO and CCTA, with additional representatives from the business, senior, disabled, and environmental communities. The Task Force has been coordinating its efforts with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, county Regional Planning Commissions, and public transportation providers throughout the region.For more information, or to submit comments, visit the CCMPO website, is external).For additional information, contact:CCMPO: William Knight, Executive DirectorP: (802) 660-4071 ext 15F: (802) sends e-mail)CCTA: Dave Davis, Chair, Board of Commissioners and Vice Chair, Task Force P: (802) 864-0211 F: (802) 864-5564Press Contact: Emily J. StebbinsP: (802) 324-4345F: (831) sends e-mail)###last_img