STS Frequently Asked Questions
|What is the Statewide Transportation Strategy?|
|The Statewide Transportation Strategy (STS) is a long-term vision, looking out to the year 2050, to help reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Oregon from three key travel markets: ground passenger and commercial services, freight, and air passenger. The STS explores how transportation and land use choices made over the coming decades might affect Oregon’s long-term future. |
The STS identifies short- and long-term actions and strategies to create a transportation system that will be effective in reducing transportation-related GHG emissions in Oregon while supporting other societal goals such as livable communities, economic vitality, and public health.
The STS is part of the larger Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (OSTI), an integrated statewide effort being undertaken jointly by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Land Conservation and Development Division to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions.
|Why is Oregon taking on this effort?|
|The STS is part of the larger Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (OSTI), an integrated statewide effort being undertaken jointly by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Land Conservation and Development Division to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions. |
OSTI is the result of two bills passed by the Oregon Legislature, House Bill 2011 (2009) and Senate Bill 1059 (2010), which were crafted to help the state meet its 2050 goal of reducing transportation-related GHG emissions. OSTI takes into consideration how the energy landscape is changing, as well as the need to sustain a strong economy while creating healthier, more livable communities and greater economic opportunity.
|Why do greenhouse gas emissions matter?|
|An increase in average global temperatures could lead to some unwelcome changes in Oregon. Oregon’s transportation infrastructure is vulnerable to the anticipated impacts of climate change; from increased wave heights causing significant erosion along the coastline and threatening highways to more intense precipitation events causing flooding and increasing the incidence of landslides across the state, climate change will impact our transportation assets and system operations throughout Oregon. Already ODOT has experienced an increase in repair costs related to extreme weather events. These events also cause delay for motorists and shippers, impacting businesses. A smoothly operating transportation system is key to a healthy economy. |
Source: Interim ODOT Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
Report, August 2011
In addition to impacts to Oregon’s transportation infrastructure, other impacts from climate change include diminished water supplies and impacts to agricultural productivity, adverse health impacts such as an increase in heat-related and respiratory illnesses, and suffering ecosystems such as Oregon’s forests, grasslands, and watersheds.
Additionally, the benefits of reducing GHG emissions from transportation extend far beyond preventing the impacts of climate change, including improving the efficiency and effectiveness with which people and goods are moved, sustaining a strong economy while creating healthier, more livable communities and new economic opportunities for Oregonians. The challenge of climate change presents an opportunity for Oregon to develop innovative solutions.
|Why should Oregonians care about GHG emissions reduction?|
|The benefits of reducing GHG emissions from transportation extend beyond arresting the impacts of climate change. Over the forty year horizon of the STS, Oregon will face a number of challenges that will require creative solutions. Indeed, factors such as population growth, a changing economy, and an aging transportation infrastructure will all require our attention whether or not we decide to take comprehensive action on climate change. The actions we employ to reduce GHG emissions will also create: |
- More efficient transportation systems that help people and goods travel more quickly and easily;
- Reduced transportation costs for individuals and businesses; and
- Increased choices for how people travel, including increased opportunities for biking, walking, and public transit.
|Why focus on transportation? Other sources of emissions?|
|The travel of Oregonians and movement of goods consumed by Oregon’s households and businesses produce a large amount of GHG emissions – approximately a third of all emissions. Reducing emissions from the transportation sector can make a sizeable contribution to reducing climate change impacts in Oregon. |
While the focus of OSTI and the STS is on transportation, the Oregon Global Warming Commission and others are addressing GHG emissions from other sources such as electrical power generation and industrial energy use to help meet the state’s goal of reducing GHG emissions.
|How was the STS developed?|
|The STS was developed through a comprehensive 18-month process involving extensive research and technical analysis, as well as policy direction and technical input from local governments, industry representatives, metropolitan planning organizations, state agencies, and others. |
The STS was developed through a scenario-based planning process. Alternative scenarios were developed to test “what if situations” (such as what happens if vehicle fuel economy increases slowly or rapidly). Those strategies showing the greatest potential for positive outcomes were selected to create the STS recommendations for the three travel markets (ground passenger and commercial services, freight, and air passenger).
|What kinds of actions and strategies are included in the STS?|
|The STS identifies a broad suite of strategies--in transportation systems, vehicle and fuel technologies, and urban land use patterns that are found to be effective in reducing transportation-related GHG emissions. These consist of approaches that can be taken at the local, regional, state, and national level to help meet state GHG emissions reduction goals for the transportation sector. |
|Are taxes and fees considered in the STS recommendations?|
|All STS strategies are on the table for discussion with communities to determine what is practical and will best meet community and economic goals. These strategies will also be further evaluated in Phase II during the development of an implementation plan (refer to the Schedule section on the STS webpage). Some of the potential STS strategies of the STS look at funding sources and pricing mechanisms. |
|Does the STS create new laws or regulations?|
|The STS is neither directive nor regulatory, but rather points to promising approaches that should be further considered by policymakers at the state, regional, and local levels – collaboration and coordination among jurisdictions and private industries will also be important. In the future, some regulatory action may be needed to implement certain STS strategies, establish incentive programs, or encourage program exploration and participation. |
|When will the STS be finalized and what happens after?|
|The development of the STS is one step in a multi-year planning and implementation process. The STS was accepted on March 20, 2013 by the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). Upon acceptance, Phase II (development and implementation of an implementation plan) began. Refer to the Schedule section on the STS webpage for more details about the STS phases. |