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Commission approves $161 million in transit service expansions

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Funds from new STIF program will improve public transportation around the state

March 21, 2019

For more information: Karyn Criswell, Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund project manager, karyn.c.criswell@odot.state.or.us or 503-856-6172

SALEM – Expanded hours of service, new low- and no-emission buses, new shelters, more routes: these improvements and more – totaling $161 million – were approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission today. This is the first round of applications for the new Oregon Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund, or STIF, and it includes applications from 18 eligible transit providers.

“This is an exciting time for us to be putting these funds into play,” said Commission Chair Tammy Baney. “It’s life-changing.”

The funds will help expand transit services in communities around the state to better serve all Oregonians. The emphasis is on increasing frequency, reducing fares for low-income communities, purchasing low- or no-emission buses in urban areas, improving connections between cities and more. As a highlight, the approved plans are cumulatively anticipated to provide the following service improvements through the end of the 2019-2021 biennium:

  • 207 million new transit trips.
  • 33 million new miles of service by buses.
  • 1 million low income households will be within ½ mile of a transit stop.
  • 50 new low or no emission buses.
  • 104,000 new transit trips for high school students.
  • 1,450 units of equipment, such as security cameras, bus shelters and bus charging infrastructure.

The list of the 18 recipients and details of their approved plans are available on the STIF website.  

“This is a long time coming,” said Commissioner Julie Brown, who serves as general manager of the Rogue Valley Transit District. “I remember we used the phrase, ‘Be bold or go home.’ Today really hits home hard to see how the future of public transportation is moving forward.”

The remaining 24 transit providers serving Oregonians are expected to submit applications by May 1 for up to an additional $65.7 million in STIF Formula funds. The commission plans to take action on this second round of STIF Formula fund applications in October, 2019.

Keep Oregon Moving, the historic transportation funding package (HB 2017), established the STIF. To learn more about the program and other STIF funding opportunities, visit the STIF Project website.

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