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5 S.6 Criteria in Selecting and Evaluating Funding Sources Each of the sources mentioned and described in this report has potential applicability in a variety of settings. Whether a particular source is of potential use in a particular locale depends on a variety of factors, many of which are contextual and unique to individual locales. Contextual factors requiring review in the search for new funding sources are discussed more thoroughly in Section 4.0. These factors include the following: · Local and state governance traditions and philosophies of taxation and spending, · The types of transit agencies and services to be funded, · The elements for which funding is being sought (e.g., ongoing agency programs or individual projects), · The type of source that is desired and that is appropriate (e.g., pay-as-you-go funding or debt financing [bonding]), and · Local and regional perspectives on the role of public transportation in the community now and in the future. A good understanding of these contextual factors is an important prerequisite in the search for enhanced transit funding. Once contextual factors are understood, all stake- holders must come to a similar understanding of the general advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding sources as well as an understanding of how the alternatives satisfy a set of widely used criteria. Among the most important of these criteria are the following: · Revenue yield adequacy and stability, · Cost efficiency in the application of sources, · Equity in the application of the alternatives across demographic and income groups as well as regional jurisdictions, · Economic efficiency in balancing who pays with who benefits from investments, · Political and popular acceptability, and · Technical feasibility. Among these criteria, revenue yield is a principal consideration. An enormous amount of effort is required to enact and sustain funding for any public service. When these efforts are undertaken, sponsors should be certain that the resulting flow of funds will be adequate to meet funding requirements, be reliable, and be predictable. Section 4.0 of this report also addresses the advantages, disadvantages, and performance of various funding sources against these criteria. S.7 Steps in Enacting New Funding Sources for Public Transportation There have been wide-ranging, successful efforts in recent years to raise funding for public transportation at the local and regional levels as the current and future importance of public transportation options have become more widely recognized. From these experiences, some of which are highlighted in Section 3.0, it is clear that raising funding for public transportation must be viewed as a "campaign" in all senses of the word. Virtually all of the successful public transportation funding campaigns have used the series of steps listed below: 1. Developing a consensus on the scope of current and future transportation and transit needs and on the importance of actions to address them;
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6 2. Developing a specific program of investments for which additional funding is needed, pro- viding a clear and credible demonstration of the benefits expected, and detailing a campaign plan for pursuing enactment of new funding sources; 3. Identifying the roles, responsibilities, and procedures for carrying out the campaign plan and implementing the proposed improvements; 4. Describing in detail the proposed revenue sources to be enacted and the rationales for selec- tion and use; 5. Determining who must act officially and unofficially at the state, regional, and local level, through what processes, and on what timetables and further determine what their particular familiarity and interest is in advancing (or denying) a transit funding campaign; 6. Designing, raising resources for, and carrying out a comprehensive public education and advocacy campaign through multiple media, communications, and involvement strategies; 7. Developing broad-based community leadership and demonstrable sustained support for the initiative; and 8. Laying out a reasonable timetable, work program, and management scheme for action. To undertake these steps, particularly in pursuit of large, longer-term funding commit- ments, it has proven to be necessary to consult with, if not engage formally, an individual or firm experienced in directing public advocacy campaigns. Such expertise can be essential in framing stakeholder interests through polling and other public opinion processes, exploring varied political perspectives, understanding the precise and often arcane procedures for estab- lishing the legal authority to raise and invest public funds, and in shaping and delivering mes- sages that will both resonate with essential constituencies and counteract contrary opinions where necessary.