3904 – Brief
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE ON
2021 SILVER-HAIRED LEGISLATURE BILL NO. 3904
SHL Resolution No. 3904 urges the Kansas Legislature to continue supporting and funding collaborative community-based transportation systems for senior citizens and to support local entity involvement and control when establishing such systems. Among the findings in the resolution are:
● More than 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older live in rural and suburban communities where public transportation services are either poor or nonexistent;
● More than 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older do not drive, and the dangers of driving increase with age for those that do;
● In 2018, almost 7,700 adults aged 65 and over were killed in automobile crashes, and more than 250,000 were treated in emergency departments for crash injuries;
● Caregivers provide or arrange over 1.4 billion rides per years for senior citizens, but more formal transportation services are needed; and
● Inadequate transportation decreases senior citizen access to needed medical services and increases social isolation, contributing to the possibility of placement in high-cost long-term facilities.
The 2020 Kansas Legislature authorized (House Sub. for SB 173) and directed the Secretary of Transportation to initiate the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, providing for transportation infrastructure improvements and funding. Among other requirements, the bill requires the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program to provide for public transit programs to aid elderly persons, persons with disabilities and the general public, in accordance with law. Language in KSA 68-2314c(b) continues the requirement included in the 2010 transportation program bill, Transportation Works for Kansas (T-Works) (Senate Sub. for Senate Sub. for HB 2650): “The . . . program shall provide for public transit programs to aid elderly persons, persons with disabilities and the general public, in accordance with KSA 75-5032 through 75-5038 [the Elderly and Disabled Public Transportation Assistance Act], and amendments thereto, and KSA 75-5051 through 75-5058 [the Kansas Coordinated Transit Districts Act], and amendments
thereto.” The 2020 bill also continued the amount to be transferred from the State Highway Fund to the Coordinated Public Transportation Assistance Fund at $11 million a year and authorized the Secretary of Transportation to transfer additional moneys into the fund.
Additional criteria for fund eligibility under the Kansas Elderly and Disabled Coordinated Public Transportation Assistance Act are to determine whether the proposal serves the transportation needs of elderly people, people with disabilities, and the general public of the proposed service area; to determine whether transportation resources are used effectively and efficiently; and to determine whether duplicative and inefficient costs and services are avoided.
The State also receives some federal funding for transit. The Federal Transit Administration’s regulations on Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning, in 23 CFR Part 450, include requirements regarding transit planning in order to implement federal law requiring states, planning organizations, and operators of public transportation to link investment priorities to the achievement of performance targets. States also must develop long-range statewide transportation plans to serve the mobility needs of people and freight and must “enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes throughout the State, for people and freight” and “provide for nonmetropolitan local official participation in the development of the long-range statewide transportation plan . . . that is separate and discrete from the public involvement process” (23 CFR 450.206(a)(6) and 450.210(b)). The federal regulations include requirements for states to have a higher level of involvement with nonmetropolitan local officials and provide a process for the creation of regional transportation planning organizations.