Transportations options means giving Oregonians several viable choices when traveling throughout the state. We’re following two key strategies: spread demand across the system and emphasize low-carbon transportation options, like walking or biking.
Walking or biking to lower greenhouse gas emissions is straightforward: neither mode emits any greenhouse gases, so the more people that walk or pedal, the better.
“Spread demand across the system” means educating and encouraging Oregonians to consider alternative means of travel. We’re building a modern transportation system that caters to several different kinds of mobility, and for every person that decides to ride their bike to work, or take public transit to the store, that means one
less person driving a car emitting greenhouse gases.
ODOT can best influence transportation options through targeted investments (for ex. funding more bike lane projects) and educating the public about different modes of transportation.
Public Transportation Service
Many people think of big cities when they think transit, but the Statewide Transportation Strategy emphasizes public transit services for rural areas, too. Moving between cities (intercity transit) is just as important as moving within cities (urban transit.) Currently, we have good options for both types of transit, and interconnecting them will be key.
The Keep Oregon Moving bill (HB 2017), passed by the state legislature in 2017, covers both intercity and urban transit. The bill expands transit services throughout the state and secures funding for the program.
How we can stay on track: The key will be increasing transit service levels to keep pace with Oregon’s projected population growth. As it stands now, Oregon’s population growth will outstrip public transportation capacity in the long term. Meeting that demand is doable, but will require a dedicated, long-term funding source.
How we’re measuring our success:
• Transit ridership per capita
• Amtrak cascades ridership
• Local and state funding levels for public transit.
More Oregonians are biking and walking to their destinations, especially on short trips. Electric scooters are also getting more popular; many people use them for shorter trips of 10 miles or less, and electric scooter rideshare companies (like Lime) have a presense in Portland. This is line with STS predictions, and data indicates the trend will continue.
Biking and walking do not emit greenhouse gases, and are two of the best ways for us to reduce emissions. The Statewide Transportation Strategy envisions steady investments into both modes of transportation.
How we can stay on track: Continued investments in bike-friendly infrastructure and programs like pedestrian safety, accessibility for people with disabilities and protected bike lanes will ensure we stick to the STS vision.
Land use policies can also help shape new community developments that are bike/walk friendly, however ODOT has limited influence in land use. Working with land use policy makers and partners will be important.
How we’re measuring our success: Percent of urban state highways with bike lanes and sidewalks
Car share include program like short-term vehicle rentals (Zip Cars) or peer-to-peer rental programs. Car share programs help reduce the need for households to own multiple cars, and reduce total vehicle miles traveled.
How we can stay on track: Support car share programs, especially in denser urban areas, and educate Oregonians about car share benefits.
Demand Management Porgrams
These programs raise public awareness about public transportation options and travel choices, and include partnerships with private businesses. The Statewide Transportation strategy identifies “ease of use” as an important factor here; the easier it is for people to use different modes of transportation – or avoid transportation entirely – the more likely they are to use them.
A recent example of demand management is the work-from-home stipulation many employers put in place during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-21. Continuing this trend, even after it’s safe to return to the office, would reduce congestion and pollution from transportation.
Other examples: carpool incentives, building more park-and-ride facilities at transit stations, and expanded “guaranteed ride home” programs for bike or pedestrian commuters.
How we can stay on track: Continue to invest in public education programs that empower Oregonians to choose the right transportation mode for them, and continue to work with Oregon’s employers to make commutes safer and more convenient.
How we’re measuring our success: ????