March 7, 2008
For immediate release
MRPC Approves Coordinated Transit Plan Hears report on county issues
ST. JAMES—Exploring new transportation technologies and maintaining and increasing existing transit services were among the top strategies identified to address transit needs in the Meramec Region in a recently developed transit coordination plan. At the recommendation of its Transportation Advisory Committee, the board of Meramec Regional Planning Commission adopted Public Transit-Human Services Coordination Plan for the Meramec Region during its regular meeting on Feb. 14, 2008, at Meramec Regional Planning Commission, 4 Industrial Drive, St. James.
Recent changes to the federal transportation law now require projects funded through certain Federal Transit Administration programs be derived from locally developed, coordinated public transit-human service transportation plans. In mid-2007, the Missouri Department of Transportation contracted with the Meramec Regional Planning Commission to coordinate and prepare the public transit coordination plan for the Meramec Region, which includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.
"We held meetings and conducted surveys to determine transit needs and strategies,” explained MRPC Assistant Director Bonnie Prigge, who coordinated the planning process. “The needs fell primarily into four categories: Lack of funding, gaps in services, need for coordination and need for marketing and education.”
“We then identified strategies to meet those needs and prioritized them,” Prigge continued. “Stakeholders identified a total of 14 strategies. We appreciate all the people who have been involved in the developing the plan.”
The plan has been delivered to the Missouri Department of Transportation and is posted on MRPC’s website—www.meramecregion.org—by mid-month, Prigge added.
MRPC is a voluntary council of local governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Officers are Chairman Bob Reed of Washington County, Vice Chairman Laura Antolak of Rolla, Secretary Russell Scheulen of Osage County and Treasurer Gary Brown of Salem. A professional staff, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, transportation planning, housing assistance, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans, strategic planning and other services to member communities upon request.