Greening Oregon’s transportation package

We’ve all been hearing a lot about the transportation package the Oregon Legislature is expected to address this session.

Several groups (see full list) have united under the banner “Transportation for Oregon’s Future” to push for $161 million in annual investments that go beyond “the old highways-focused approach.”

Chris Rall with Transportation for America is coordinating the coalition in Salem. He shared more about the #transport4OR agenda with Pete Danko in the Portland Business Journal last week.

“We have to think strategically about remodeling the transportation system, as we rebuild it, to achieve our goals, which include greenhouse gas emissions, making sure all Oregonians have access to opportunity and making our state attractive so we can attract talent and business. The strategy to do that is not necessarily to build a bunch of big highway projects,” said Rall.

The key investment?

“Transit, and especially transit-operations funding,” said Rall. “Oregon covers 3 percent of transit operations in the state, whereas states across the country cover 24 percent of operations. So the state isn’t playing as strong a role as it could in supporting the type of funding that gets service out on the street, gets the buses running so people can get to where they need to go.”

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