Oregon Transportation Commission approves more than $233 million for public and active transportation projects

May 17, 2021
Bike paths, transit shelters and new buses are just a few examples of the approved projects.

More than $233 million in funding was approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission for projects from several different programs, all aimed at supporting multimodal transportation projects across the state.

All the programs are housed in Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Public Transportation Division and Administrator Karyn Criswell praised the work of those involved in getting to this point.

“These awards represent a culmination of hundreds if not thousands of cumulative hours of effort on the part of staff, our advisory committees and local agency partners,” Criswell said. “The rigor and thoughtfulness that our team and our partners bring to identifying and prioritizing needs, formulating project selection criteria that advance our mobility, social equity, safety, climate and other goals and carefully scoring and ranking applications is truly inspiring and frankly, just amazing! And you did it all during a pandemic, which added complexity to our processes.”

Here is the breakdown of programs and total amounts approved. More information about the programs is available on ODOT’s website.

  • Oregon Community Paths Program: Commissioners approved 21 projects in this new program, ranging from the Belt Park Greenway Trail in Hermiston to the Berkeley Park Path in Eugene; $15.1 million.
  • 2021-23 STIF Plans for Formula Funds: This includes approving 41 Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund plans, which will help counties, tribes and transit districts improve their transportation options; $194,229,876.
  • STIF Discretionary and Statewide Transit Network Fund programs: These approved projects from counties, tribes and transit districts include things like adding signage, building shelters, purchasing buses and more; $22,613,596.
  • 5304 Statewide Transportation Planning Grant Program: These grants allow entities to develop and update transit and public transportation plans; $1,014,424.

Multimodal projects like these are key contributors to all three of ODOT's Strategic Action Plan priorities: equity, a modern transportation system and sufficient and reliable funding.

The Oregon Community Paths Program is a new program dedicated to help plan and build off-road walking and biking paths that connect communities and destinations. Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) programs help communities and regions offer options to driving a vehicle, reduce congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by improving public transportation, both within cities and between them.

Dedicated funding for the Oregon Community Paths Program is a result of HB 2592 (2019), which established the Multimodal Active Transportation Fund, comprised of Connect Oregon funds, a portion of the Vehicle Privilege Tax and the Bicycle Excise tax. The statewide allocation of the Transportation Alternatives component of Federal Highway funds is also dedicated to the program. For the program’s first cycle, an additional $4 million in Oregon Transportation Operating funds were added to help bring total funding to $15.1 million.

 The Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund originated with Keep Oregon Moving (HB 2017), the Oregon legislature’s historic funding program, and it is funded in large part by a one-tenth of one percent payroll tax.