According to the Brookings Institution more than 10 years ago:
“The distribution of the gas tax within some states appears to penalize cities and urban areas. In several states [Missouri], urban areas act as “donor regions.” These areas contribute significantly more in tax receipts than they receive in allocations from their state’s highway fund or through direct local transfers.” The Brookings Institution Series on Transportation Reform, 2003
Since this report, the other states have corrected this inequity. But not Missouri.
Per MoDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, "Urban" includes towns with 5,000 people or more:
‘Major Urban’ Area has a population of 50,000 people or more.
‘Small Urban’ Area has a population of 5,000 – 49,999.
More than HALF (52%) of the funds were spent where less than a third (31%) of the people live.
Underserving Most of the People in the State
By underfunding Suburbs & Cities MoDOT is not serving most of the people in the state. The Suburbs & Cities have 57% of Missouri’s population, yet only received 34% of the funds. Also MoDOT reports that every class of urban road is in a worse condition than every class of rural road.
A lack of access to public transit = High Infant Mortality. Inadequate public transit limits access to:
“In some [St. Louis] neighborhoods, the infant mortality rates exceed that of Third World countries…” Missouri has a high infant mortality accross the state… Most states subsidize transit with 15-20% of gas taxes. Missouri provides ZERO.
*Source: “New initiative is targeting high infant mortality,” Post-Dispatch article, 10/15/15
The St. Louis area includes St. Louis County, St. Charles, St. Louis City, Jefferson, and Franklin Counties.
Remember: the first Stimulus project in the nation? It was MoDOT’s new $9 million bridge to save 38 families in Tuscumbia a 20 minute trip. Yet, MoDOT delayed the Stan Musial Bridge for years. They wanted it to be a toll bridge. It took St. Louis Congressmen and the Illinois DOT to change their position. MoDOT tends to direct the majority of our taxes to where very few people travel.
Listen to the interview with the then MoDOT Director Pete Rahn by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Editorial Board regarding federal stimulus projects.