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Local Government Funding Overview

Background

Oregon has several programs that invest in transportation projects on local roadways. There are federal funds, state funds and other funds; there are programs that invest in specific modes, such as rail or bicycle/pedestrian; and there are emergency situations when funds are available, too. Below is an overview of the various funding sources and programs.

To begin exploring these funding sources, we recommend you look at two major programs:

  • Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. This program identifies and schedules several years in advance most major projects around the state and in communities using mostly federal funds.
  • ConnectOregon. This is a legislatively-approved program for investing in multimodal (non-highway) projects, including rail, marine/ports, air, bicycle/pedestrian and public transit.

For an overview of federal-aid transportation programs, see the Congressional Research Service's Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief.

The Oregon Department of Transportation manages other programs that fund or support projects on local roadways. You may also want to explore options related to the following categories of funding (some programs may be shown in more than one category):

Current Programs


 

Active Transportation, SWIP, and Quick Fix Leverage 

State Highway Fund dollars are distributed to each region for bicycle and pedestrian projects on state roadways. Outside agencies (such as a local roadway authority) may be able to use some of the funds such as SWIP dollars for pedestrian and bicycle facilities on state highways via an Intergovernmental Agreement.

All Roads Transportation Safety 

The All Roads Transportation Safety, or ARTS, Program is designed to address safety needs on all public roads in Oregon. The program is data driven to achieve the greatest benefits in crash reduction and should be blind to jurisdiction. A portion of the ARTS funding is dedicated to a systemic approach that identifies a few proven low-cost measures to implement widely, and then put those measures into effect where there is evidence that they would be most useful. Local agencies and ODOT regions submit applications for bicycle and pedestrian projects to support this systemic approach. Region ARTS representatives are listed on the program page.

Bridge Program

The Oregon Department of Transportation's Bridge Section coordinates selection and funding of Federal Highway Bridge Program bridges through the Local Agency Bridge Selection Committee, a committee of city, county, and state representatives. Local agency bridges are prioritized using a Technical Ranking System and selected in categories of Large (30,000+ square feet of deck area), Small On-System, and Small Off-System.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program 

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) is a federally-funded program for surface transportation improvements designed to improve air quality and mitigate congestion. CMAQ funds are apportioned annually to each State according to the severity of its air quality problems. The program is jointly administered by Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

Eligible project types include:

  • Public Transportation Improvements
  • Transportation Options Strategies
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure
  • Vehicle and Fuel Efficiency Efforts
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Traffic Flow Improvements
  • Road Dust Mitigation

Contact  Alan Thompson, Investments Program Manager.

Connect Oregon 

Connect Oregon is a competitive grant program that invests in air, rail, marine, and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure to ensure Oregon’s transportation system is strong, diverse, and efficient. Connect Oregon projects are eligible for grants that cover up to 70 percent of project costs. A minimum 30 percent cash match is required from the recipient for all grant funded projects (except Class I Railroads which now have a 50 percent match). Projects eligible for funding from state fuel tax revenues (section 3a, Article IX of the Oregon Constitution, the Highway Trust Fund), are not eligible for Connect Oregon funding.

Emergency Funding

A federal program that provides emergency funding for repair or reconstruction of highways and roads damaged during natural disasters or catastrophic failures. ODOT’s Maintenance and Operations Branch administers the Emergency Operations Program and can assist local agencies navigate the ER process.

Fund Exchange

A process whereby cities, counties, and small metropolitan planning organizations can exchange federal Surface Transportation Program dollars for state funds.

Immediate Opportunity Fund 

The purpose of the Immediate Opportunity Fund, or IOF, is to support primary economic development in Oregon through the construction and improvement of streets and roads. Access to this fund is discretionary and the fund may only be used when other sources of financial support are unavailable or insufficient. The IOF is not a replacement or substitute for other funding sources.

Oregon Transportation Infrastructure Bank, or OTIB

 A statewide revolving loan fund designed to promote innovative financing solutions for transportation needs. All local agencies are eligible to apply for OTIB funding.

Public Transportation Funding Opportunities

ODOT’s Public Transit Section provides Public Transportation grants to communities and local transportation providers who offer public transportation. If this is your agency's first time applying for a Public Transit Section grant, please contact your area's Regional Transit Coordinator for more information and to discuss your eligibility.

 

Safe Routes to Schools

Safe Routes to School refers to efforts that improve, educate, or encourage children safely walking (by foot or mobility device) or biking to school. ODOT has two main types of Safe Routes to School programs: infrastructure and non-infrastructure. Infrastructure programs focus on making sure safe walking and biking routes exist through investments in crossings, sidewalks and bike lanes, flashing beacons, and the like. Non-infrastructure programs focus on education and outreach to assure awareness and safe use of walking and biking routes. ODOT manages funding competitions for both infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs at the annual levels of $10 million (increasing to $15 million in 2023) and $300,000 respectively.

Safety Grantee Resources

The Transportation Safety Division administers safety grants that adhere to our mission to deliver transportation safety programs to Oregon citizens. Typically, grants are awarded to states, local governments, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations.

Small City Allotment 

An annual allocation of state funds for local agency transportation projects. Through an agreement between League of Oregon Cities and ODOT, ODOT sets aside $5,000,000 each year (half from city gas tax revenue and half from the State Highway Fund) for cities with population of less than 5,000. Projects are selected for funding per a competitive process. The maximum award is $100,000 and there is no match requirement. Only one application per city per year will be accepted. Cities may submit an application if they currently have no more than one active project.

2021 Call for Projects:  $5,000,000 in Small City Allotment Funds will be awarded for program year 2021. Project proposals will be accepted June 1 through July 31, 2020.

The Small City Advisory Committee (SCAC) was established by the Department of Transportation Executive Director in consultation with the League of Oregon Cities. A small city representative within each ODOT Region sits on the committee panel. The main role of this committee is to review applications submitted under the Small City Allotment Program and make recommendations for funding to the director. Get involved by attending a public meeting.

 

Transportation Options

The Transportation Options, or TO, program focuses on implementation of the Oregon Transportation Options Plan, including: managing demand across the transportation system; educating students and the public on travel options and how to safely use them; connecting veterans, low income populations, communities of color, and others with ways to get to and from work or school; supporting vanpooling; and more.

Innovation Grants: 

  • The Transportation Options Innovation Grant supports the implementation of the Oregon Transportation Options Plan, moves the state of the practice of transportation options forward and provides learning opportunities or tools that can be shared with other transportation options providers.

    Grants will be awarded in a two year cycle. Funds for the 2019 solicitation will be available July 1, 2019 and must be spent by June 30, 2021. Total funds available are $200,000 with a maximum award of $50,000. No grants will be awarded in 2020. The next competitive cycle will occur in the first quarter of 2021 for funds available July 1, 2021, funding permitting. The purpose of this change is to allow project completion during a fiscal biennium and to reduce the need to extend contract terms.

    Letters of Interest (LOI) were accepted through February 8, 2019 for the 2019 round of grants. Those selected, will submit a draft scope and budget by February 27, 2019. Based on the draft scope and budget discussions, a final selection will be made in March 2019. Successful applicants will be invited to enter in a Grant Agreement with ODOT for the 2019 Transportation Options Innovation Grant funds.

    Program Contact: Stephanie.L.Miller@odot.state.or.us 

Sponsorships: 

The purpose of the Transportation Options Sponsorship Program is to support activities that encourage Oregonians to try transportation options. Examples of eligible activities include:
  • Open Streets or similar events
  • Kick off of a new transportation service or facility (bike share, major transit line, trip planning tool, etc.)
  • Other transportation options information and knowledge activities to reach new audiences or historically underserved communities
  • Activities which help implement an Oregon Transportation Options Plan policy

The typical award is between $2,000 and $5,000. Applications for sponsorships are accepted on an open basis and will be awarded based on matching program goals and objectives and availability of funds.
Contact Stephanie Millar, Transportation Options Program Manager, with a brief description of the event or purpose of the sponsorship.



 

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