In an effort to educate and inform Missourians on the current status and future direction of their transportation system, the Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Funding takes the complex issues of the state’s transportation revenue, expenditures, system condition and unfunded needs and explains them in clear and easy-to-understand terms.
Missouri’s transportation revenue totaled nearly $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2021. As shown below, 54% of the revenue came from state user fees and 44% from federal revenue.
Transportation Funding in MO
Missouri user fees are paid by the users of the transportation system and are dedicated for transportation use in the state. They include fuel taxes, registration and licensing fees and motor vehicle sales taxes.
How Does Missouri Compare?
Missouri ranks 48th nationally in revenue per mile, primarily because the state’s large system – the nation’s seventh largest with 33,830 miles of highways – is funded with one of the lowest fuel taxes in the country: 17 cents per gallon.
The Missouri Constitution and state and federal laws determine how transportation funds are allocated to states, cities and counties.
Where is the Money Invested?
MoDOT does not receive the entire $3.1 billion of transportation revenue or the $32 per month from the average Missouri driver. After allocations to cities, counties, other state agencies and debt payment, MoDOT received $2.1 billion of transportation revenues in fiscal year 2021 to invest in the state transportation
MoDOT Funding Distribution
Since 2003, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has used a formula to distribute construction program funds for road and bridge improvements to each of its seven districts.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is a federally mandated program administered by MoDOT’s External Civil Rights Division. The program’s overall goal is to provide opportunities to participate in the economic benefits of highway construction to small businesses owned and operated by disadvantaged individuals.
When combined, congestion, additional vehicle operating costs and roadway crashes cost each Missouri driver about $510 per month. Additional investments in congestion relief, improving system conditions and safety can reduce these costs for Missourians.
The Cost of Turnover
Excessive employee turnover significantly impacts MoDOT’s productivity. It is costly to Missouri taxpayers and creates a continual staffing cycle to fill the positions needed to maintain a safe and reliable transportation system.
The Cost of Operations
MoDOT employs 3,000+ field employees throughout the state to operate and maintain the transportation system. In fiscal year 2021, MoDOT invested $528 million, or about $10.29 per month from Missouri drivers, to provide services
The Current Condition of Missouri Transportation
Last year, 46.7 billion miles were traveled on the state highway system, a decline of 5.1 billion miles, mostly due to the pandemic. The majority of travel occurs on interstates and major routes. Interstates and major routes include just 5,556 miles of the 33,830 miles of highway in Missouri but account for 75% of the travel.
MoDOT has adopted an asset management approach to make the best decisions with transportation investments. The goal of the plan is to keep roads and bridges in good condition for as long as possible given current funding levels.
What is the Cost?
Missourians pay a relatively small amount per month to use the state system of roads and bridges. The average Missouri driver pays about $32 per month in state and federal transportation taxes and fees. That’s far less than what the average Missourian pays for cell phone service, cable television or internet service.
High-Priority Unfunded Transportation Needs
When MoDOT completed its current long-range transportation plan, extensive input from Missourians resulted in five goals for the state’s transportation system over the next 20 years