Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

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QuietBlue
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby QuietBlue » February 16th, 2017, 10:24 am

I don't see why they would stop funding them. They want transit and the lines are already in place.

Silophant
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Silophant » February 16th, 2017, 10:26 am

Back when they decided to pull out of the CTIB, it seemed like Dakota County was still pretty committed to keeping the Red Line going/still getting the Burnsville portion of the Orange Line.

Northstar, I'm not so sure about, since it requires a lot more subsidy and because Anoka County seems a lot more ideologically committed to freeways über alles.

MNdible
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby MNdible » February 16th, 2017, 10:38 am

I believe that the commitments that the counties made while the CTIB was in place remain binding even if they dissolve it. Just guessing here, but I think it would take an act of the legislature to change the enabling legislation to allow a county to walk away from their promised funding commitments.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 16th, 2017, 1:17 pm

That MinnPost article notes:
Anoka County’s Schulte said he thinks his fellow commissioners will vote to impose a quarter-cent tax — the same level it now collects for CTIB — because it must continue to cover half of the annual operating costs of the Northstar commuter rail service from Big Lake to Target Center. He said he didn’t expect commissioners would take advantage of the other quarter cent.
Seems like the biggest hurdle will be how the current funds are apportioned. Dakota seems to want all existing funds (including 2017 sales tax revenue) just allocated to each county to do with as they please, while the board's proposal with support from most counties intends to honor the capital and operating grants CTIB has already committed to (plus administrative costs and a contingency fund), THEN allocate remaining funds to counties according to sales tax revenue share. The latter does benefit Hennepin County, since CTIB has already committed a good amount of cashe toward SWLRT, etc. But I also think it's the most fair, since Dakota County was actually involved in approving those grants in the first place.

EOst
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby EOst » February 16th, 2017, 6:08 pm

Looks like Ramsey's going to have a public hearing for the half-cent tax on March 14th.

I agree that none of this tax revenue should go to plain road construction, but if a couple percentage points could be diverted to bike and ped projects it would have an outsize impact.

Qhaberl
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Qhaberl » February 17th, 2017, 10:17 am

If Hennepin Will be raising its sales tax, does that mean that we might be able to get the arterial bus rapid transit System built sooner? What other types of improvements would we see?


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RailBaronYarr
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 17th, 2017, 10:53 am

It has been brought up before, but yes (I'd hope). CTIB has a (stupid) limitation that its money can only go toward "transitways," which doesn't include aBRT. Free from that, I sure hope that a larger transit pot, and at a county level, would make doing the sub-$50m projects a practical option.

David Greene
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Re: RE: Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » February 17th, 2017, 4:31 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:It has been brought up before, but yes (I'd hope). CTIB has a (stupid) limitation that its money can only go toward "transitways," which doesn't include aBRT. Free from that, I sure hope that a larger transit pot, and at a county level, would make doing the sub-$50m projects a practical option.
It may seem stupid now but at the time the fear was that the legislature would cut bus funding and CTIB would have to backfill. The transitways requirement exists to ensure the sales tax actually built out transit. If you want to cast blame, cast it towards those who decided aBRT isn't a transitway.

kbee
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby kbee » February 18th, 2017, 1:29 pm

If you want to cast blame, cast it towards those who decided aBRT isn't a transitway.
That would be CTIB...

talindsay
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Re: RE: Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby talindsay » February 20th, 2017, 12:14 pm

David Greene wrote:
February 17th, 2017, 4:31 pm
It may seem stupid now but at the time the fear was that the legislature would cut bus funding and CTIB would have to backfill. The transitways requirement exists to ensure the sales tax actually built out transit.
And to that point, that's a real risk of this change. The counties are all thinking of that sweet extra money they can get, but now there's nothing preventing the Legislature from saying the counties need to use this transit funding to pay for the base bus services. In fact, I predict that's exactly what will happen.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby jebr » February 20th, 2017, 12:36 pm

I believe a lot of the state general operating assistance comes from the state vehicle tax, of which "not less than 40%" must be used for public transit assistance per a Constitutional amendment.

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/ss/ssmvst.pdf

So there's a chance any additional funding from the state would go away, but how much revenue is that? The bulk of the revenue appears to be somewhat safe, unless a constitutional amendment comes through to change it (which, while possible, would be a lot more involved than simply a new law or some reallocation of funds.)

VAStationDude
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby VAStationDude » February 20th, 2017, 1:17 pm

The problem is metro mobility can't be cut and it eats up much of the mvst.

mattaudio
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby mattaudio » February 20th, 2017, 1:22 pm

Dynamically price freeway capacity in the metro, at a price sufficient enough to ensure LOS A.

First make sure any revenue goes to cover maintaining the existing freeway network. Then apply operational surpluses split evenly four ways: 1/4 strategic freeway expansion, 1/4 freeway alternatives (corridor transit development, standard "transit thinking"), 1/4 land use alternatives (investments that reward the short trip rather than the long trip), and 1/4 repairing neighborhoods and corridors harmed by urban freeways (caps, etc).

RailBaronYarr
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Re: RE: Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 20th, 2017, 3:14 pm

talindsay wrote:
February 20th, 2017, 12:14 pm
And to that point, that's a real risk of this change. The counties are all thinking of that sweet extra money they can get, but now there's nothing preventing the Legislature from saying the counties need to use this transit funding to pay for the base bus services. In fact, I predict that's exactly what will happen.
I mean, they've been doing that anyway - proposing to keep transit support from the state flat in constant dollars (reducing in real dollars) and in spite of the obvious growth in Metro Mobility and requested/planned SIP. To say that the county sales tax option will cause the GOP to say "fine, do it yourself" ignores that the ask from the DFL to increase to a half or 3/4 cent tax was at least in part response to that existing reality.

Playing the long game, I guess I don't see how that won't be a reality no matter what. I think if we exercise the allowed half-cent tax now and the GOP slowly ratchets down the state operating support, then (hopefully, in a rational world) there'd be political leverage to change the statute limiting that tax to half-cent. And, to be honest, I'm fine with a body as large as Hennepin (or Hennepin and Ramey and whoever else, operating jointly) funding more transit ops ourselves. It's a big enough constituency and all part of the same economic unit. I'm sick of the arguments (and mostly the political strong-arming that follows) of how truck drivers in Roseau are subsidizing my bus ride through the MVST.

To jebr's point, it really is only like 7-8% of MT's operating budget that's covered by general state appropriations. That number would obviously grow if we continue to add service (LRT, aBRT, etc) on top of our existing ones, and yeah MM will continue to suck from the MVST pot. The truth is somewhere between "it'll suck up all the extra sales tax capacity" and "lookit we flush with ca$he."

Finally, it's super shitty that any discussion of alternatives is entirely separate, politically speaking. Sure it'd be great to say that if one lever is pulled (state reducing transit operating support) that we can just have toll more freeways or raise the sales tax more or any other suggestion. But they're all equally (if not more) difficult problems with a mix of state and federal laws preventing them.

David Greene
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » February 21st, 2017, 4:43 pm

kbee wrote:
February 18th, 2017, 1:29 pm
If you want to cast blame, cast it towards those who decided aBRT isn't a transitway.
That would be CTIB...
Maybe. The rulemaking isn't entirely clear to me. The law requires that CTIB-funded transitways be part of Met Council's plans. I assume it is Met Council that decides what qualifies as a "transitway." So I'm not sure CTIB is the right target.

Regardless, we have a limited funding pool. When the sales tax was enacted it wasn't even enough to cover the existing planned transitways, much less aBRT in addition. Remember, we were supposed to pass a 1/2 cent tax but it got pared down. There's your bus funding.

acs
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby acs » February 21st, 2017, 7:45 pm

Speaking of funding (this could go here or the general funding thread), the citizens's league got together to try and find acceptable funding sources to free up the transit "logjam". They presented their recommendations to the legislature this week.

http://www.startribune.com/citizens-lea ... 414404383/

Some ideas to come out of the contentious process:
--a Two-Tier sales tax based on municipality. Those cities with better transit service pay a higher rate than those cities with minimal service.
--Moving transit funding to a general fund account earmarked for transit
--A half-cent metro sales tax for general transportation combined with a quarter cent for transit
--Something to do with driverless cars and their impact

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 21st, 2017, 9:46 pm

I like the two-tier tax idea. I'd be willing to pay more and live in an area with good transit rather than paying less but having inadequate transit.

As for autonomous cars, while I do believe dial-a-ride services and lightly used suburban local routes may get the chopping block, the trunk/arterial routes should be safe.

Silophant
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Silophant » February 21st, 2017, 10:54 pm

I'm tentatively okay with the two-tier tax, as long as the bar for "better" transit service is pretty low. It wouldn't be workable if it included, say, only Minneapolis and St. Paul proper.

David Greene
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » February 22nd, 2017, 11:07 am

I guess I have a problem with a two-tier tax when we're spending millions on park & rides and things like Marq2 that primarily benefit suburban users while most bus stops in the city don't even have a bench.

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jebr
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby jebr » February 22nd, 2017, 11:54 am

I guess it would depend on how exactly "better" transit service is defined. If it's defined as "anything but Metro Mobility and Transit Link" I'd probably be okay with it, as would potentially "has every-30-minute service during midday or has a large park-and-ride in the city." For example, Hastings would be considered part of a taxing district but it receives very little direct benefit from it at this time.

But yeah, if there's large investments in a city, they should be taxed at the higher rate even if their service is peak-only currently.


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