Your executive directors have been working on many fronts over the last month to represent transit users, providers, and professionals in Colorado's many transportation policy discussions.
CASTA has spent quite a bit of time at the Colorado Legislature. We testified in support of HB-1018 in front of the Senate Local Government committee which then passed the bill on to the full Senate where it was approved. We were pleased to find that HB 1018 was the first bill signed by the Governor of the 2017 session! Thanks again to those who testified, wrote letters of support and made calls to their legislators in support of the bill!
During February, CASTA continued to work in support of a statewide transportation funding bill by attending a number stakeholder meetings and events. In addition, Elena met with Senator Grantham, President of the Senate to articulate transit needs around the state. Earlier in the month Ann discussed rural transit with Speaker of the House Duran and her staff. We also gave a presentation to the MPACT64 group on what rural transit looks like in Colorado.
The statewide transportation funding bill was finally released late last week and we are pleased to see an amount set aside for transit. The bill will likely see some changes as it travels through the House and Senate so be ready for some calls to action as we work to protect the parts that are most important to the CASTA membership.
In addition to these legislative activities, CASTA participated in the 5311 subcommittee meetings and hosted CASTA membership conference calls. We appreciate the member comments and your willingness to provide background on possible outcomes, unintended consequences and general feedback as the subcommittee worked to find a fair and transparent distribution formula. During the most recent subcommittee meeting the group came to a consensus around a distribution plan which will be presented to the Transportation Commission, TRAC and STAC over the next month. Meanwhile the subcommittee will continue to meet to determine an appropriate way to phase in the new plan and then address 5310 funding distribution.
CASTA staff are also in the thick of finalizing the Spring Conference agenda, it's shaping up to be a great week of learning and networking in Fort Collins this May. Check out the draft agenda to see what you need to learn this spring!
CASTA, in conjunction with RTD, was pleased to nominate Representative Perlmutter, winner of SWATA's 2016 Legislator of the Year award. In the award presentation, it was noted that
Congressman Perlmutter is not a flashy legislator that comes in and does one signature piece and then is never heard from again. He has supported transit year after year as long as we've (CASTA) been coming to DC. He gets transit - with RTD and now a train in his district, but also Lakewood Rides, the Seniors Resource Center and the rural systems in the foothills. He cares less about mode and method and more about moving people
. Representative Perlmutter has long been a supporter of transit in Colorado but last year held some of his town hall meetings on an RTD train. In addition to helping present this award, Elena is attending the APTA legislative conference in DC this week.